Stop throwing out those banana peels and onion rinds - residents will be able to purchase discounted compost bins and rain barrels Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The East Baton Rouge Recycling Office is holding a sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the stadium in an effort to get more organic waste into productive use and out of landfills.

“Nearly half of our recycling comes from organic,” said Susan Hamilton, director of the recycling office. Of the 104,881 tons of recycled residential waste last year, 53,929 tons were organic waste such as leaves and tree limbs, according to the 2010 Waste Reduction Summary.

Of that residential organic waste, Hamilton said they estimate about 10,000 tons is due to people composting materials in their backyard. That estimate is based on the 30,000 compost bins the office has sold during the last 20 years. With aggressive composting, a household can compost up to 650 pounds of organic waste per year, she said.

In the early years, the compost bin sales were held twice a year and the office would sell more than 3,000 per event. However, since so many have already been sold, they usually go through about 1,000 per event now.

On Saturday, it will be selling about 700 compost bins for $30 each and 700 rain barrels for $45, she said. The lower-than-normal prices of $100 and $150 is possible through a city-parish subsidy, she said.

Numerous volunteers will also assist, including ExxonMobil ExC!TE volunteers who will distribute the bins and barrels, and AT&T Pioneers who will be the cashiers.

Brochures on how to compost and presentations from LSU Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will be present to help people new to composting, Hamilton said.

In addition, Nature’s Best Organics from Natural Resource Recovery Inc. will offer one scoop of free mulch per truck or container while supplies last.

Anyone interested in buying both a compost bin and rain barrel should bring a four-door sedan, pickup truck, SUV or hatchback, Hamilton said.

This is the second time the office has also offered the rain barrels, which collect water and have a spigot to allow use for watering gardens.

If people don’t want to compost, but still want yard waste to be recycled, it’s important to place that waste at the curb separated from all other waste, Hamilton said.

Often residents mix waste such as tree limbs with things such as chairs or trash which then means all of it needs to be transported to the landfill.

“Set it out separately so it can be recycled,” she said.

Memorial Stadium is located at 1702 Foss Street, just off Interstate 110.

ON THE INTERNET: http://www.brgov.com/recycle