Graphic with rain barrel outline and text "Keep Edmond's Waterways Clean: Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Distribution Event"

Collect Rain and Create Compost

by Mark Walvoord —

The Central Oklahoma Storm Water Alliance (COSWA) is partnering with a company, Upcycle Products, Inc. to offer discounted rates on rain barrels and compost bins for their members cities…including Edmond. First the facts, then the sustainability explanation.

  • Mail-in order forms are due by April 10, 2022 and online orders by April 17, 2022
  • The pickup event is Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 8am-12pm at the City of Edmond Cross Timbers Municipal Complex
  • Rain Barrels are $66.50 or $88 and composters are $73.50 (stationary) or $154.50 (tumbling)
  • You can find more details at
photo of gray rain barrel on pedestal

The use of barrels to capture some rainwater is a sustainable choice because it helps reduce the runoff of materials and chemical pollutants into our rivers and stormwater systems. Our ground is less permeable due to soil compaction during construction, our landscaping/lawn practices, and the prevalence of roadways & parking lots. Compacted and concrete-covered soils can’t hold very much water, so when it becomes saturated, additional rainfall flows off, taking pollutants with it, into our creeks, streams, rivers, and stormwater systems.

Not only that, but many cities, Edmond included, are concerned about the long-term ability to provide clean water to its growing population. This is why there is a mandatory watering schedule (odd house numbers can only water on odd-number dates) as part of the regional water conservation plan. If you have a rain barrel, you can water on your “off days,” because you’re not using the faucet!

photo of vertical compost tumbler on a lawn

How about the sustainability of composting? By collecting your household organic waste, you are keeping it out of your trashcan. That helps in a few ways:

  1. it means our landfills won’t fill up as quickly (you are diverting that waste away from our municipal landfills);
  2. it means those materials won’t break down anaerobically (in the absence of oxygen while buried under other waste), which produces the very potent greenhouse gas methane;
  3. and it may mean you won’t have to put your garbage bin out on the curb as often, meaning the trash truck won’t have to stop at your house (hopefully reducing the stop-start that the truck makes, releasing less CO2, a less potent, but more abundant, greenhouse gas)

If you’re able to make some rich compost (~3-4 months if you balance your inputs and mix it regularly), that can be added to your lawn as a fertilizer and to reduce week growth; or, it can be mixed into your soil or flowerbeds both as a fertilizer and to increase soil health (or on a larger scale, as part of a regenerative agriculture plan). This increased health includes the soil’s ability to absorb more water. See how I brought that full circle?!