Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:03

Going green just got a discount

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The City of Houston Green Building Resource Center helps area residents and employees efficiently utilize natural resources to improve their gardening by offering rain barrels and compost bins at a discounted price.  

Inside RainBarrelCompotBinThe GBRC holds rainwater barrel and compost bin sales in the spring and fall every year. Due to the increasing popularity of the sale, the city receives a volume discount on bins and barrels delivered by the truckload.  

The deadline for online orders is Sunday, May 7. Residents must pick up their purchases from the Green Building Resources Center on May 13. Five percent of your purchase will go to the Green Building Resource Center.

“Rainwater harvesting provides homeowners with an affordable alternative to watering from the tap,” said Steve Stelzer, program director for the Green Building Resource Center.  “Plants and the microbes in the soil are much healthier with rain water than potable water which has been treated to kill microbes to make it safer to drink.”

50-gallon rain barrels: 

Typical retail price: $129,

Discount price: $69 

  • Rain barrels meet Environmental Protection Agency safety standards.
  • All components are included to start collecting and using rainwater.
  • The barrel is made of 100 percent recycled HDPE material.
  • Barrels nest for easy storage. Three barrels will easily fit in the back seat of a mid-size sedan.
  • With a locking lid and screened inlet, two overflow ports, and the capability to be linked to other barrels.

Composting at home

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, compost is deteriorated organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Composting at home involves separating yard waste, such as dead leaves and grass and organic kitchen scraps, such as coffee grounds and vegetable peels, from your trash and recyclables.

“Compost bins reduce the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills which contributes to problematic methane creation,” Stelzer said. “The main benefit to compost is using it in your gardens and turf to make the soil healthy for better plant health and vitality.”

65-Gallon compost bin:

Discount price: $65

  • Easy to assemble and convenient to convert food and lawn waste into nutrient-rich compost.
  • Ventilation holes throughout help with proper composting.
  • Constructed of rugged plastic, this compost bin makes it easy to recycle yard and kitchen waste, an important step in reducing methane generation.

Order online by Sunday, May 7 at

Purchases can be picked up Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Houston Permitting Center west parking Lot 2, 1002 Washington Ave.

Stelzer will be available to answer questions and assist all who take part in this offer.