In the past year many people have spent more time at home than they have in decades, and one result is that people have also paid more attention to their homes and yards than usual.

Two things yards and gardens require are water and good soil; the City of Greensboro is offering low priced help with both.

The city through Oct. 1 is offering discounted prices on 80-gallon Earth Machine compost bins and 55-gallon Systern rain barrels.

Earth Machine compost bins start at $50 and go up to $94.95 for the deluxe bin with all the bells and whistles including the Wingdigger compost turner.  If all that seems a little much for compost, the GeoBin open composter and leaf corral can be purchased for $39.95.

Rain barrels are $69.95.

All the items can be ordered online at

You don’t have to be a resident of Greensboro to take advantage of the offer. The deal is available to all Guilford County residents.  Bins and barrels ordered online will be available for pick up between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Oct. 9 at the White Street Landfill at 2503 White St.

Greensboro Recycling specialist Masey DeMoss said, “Whether you want to take better care of the planet by enriching your soil or conserving water, there are plenty of reasons to buy a bin or a barrel.”

It is estimated that 25 percent of a typical household’s waste can be composted.  Not only does compost reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, it helps the soil retain moisture and prevents soil erosion.  It also reduces the amount of garbage going to the landfill.

The Earth Machine compost bins are designed as cold composters for household food scraps and do a good job of keeping critters like racoons out of your compost. 

Rain barrels help conserve water as well as reducing storm water runoff.