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Neighbor's Compost


July 29, 2020

I have a question regarding locating a compost bin next to a shared chain link fence.  My neighbor is currently building a large compost up against the fence we share.  I am very supportive of composting - however I am concerned about the location.  If the compost is not correctly cared for I may experience smell and rodents etc.  They have a very large lot and there are areas where it could be located. Are there any state or county regulations or codes regarding this situation that could help?  Do you know where else I might need to contact? Thank you for your reply.


Answer by JZ: Your question will by received by a few BernCo. master composters who may also respond.  Here are my thoughts. You did not send your zip code, so do not know where you live.  You would have to check ordinances in the community in which you live. Let common sense and ultimate courtesy prevail. Dealing with our neighbors, on any issue, requires tact and patience.  When you and your neighbor are well disposed to a composting discussion, that would be a fine time to have a chat about your concerns. Perhaps start out talking about the benefits of composting and the successful experiences which you both have had. Then share your concerns. You may also contact: New Mexico Environment Department.

Answer by JH: To add to JZ's comments perhaps a good way to begin a neighborly inquiry is to find out how and what they will compost - will the pile be above ground in a bin or some type of structure or on the ground, or will it be below ground i.e. trench composting. Our website has many resources to assist with these considerations, and depending on your location, that may be of utmost importance. We encourage everyone particularly those on the edges of town to be cautious in selecting the site, type of composting and compost materials so as to avoid unwelcome animals and other pests. You might see our brochure "Selecting a Method ..." which is available in our Handouts under Resources in our website menu.

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