stephenabney wrote: Don't pesticides also degrade / wash away during the time that the grass is decomposing in the compost pile?
Plants that contain natural toxins, e.g., rhubarb leaves, do decompose and lose their toxicity in the compost pile.
However, grass clippings which have *recently* been treated with PESTicides will, as a matter of course, kill many of the organisms which work on the compost "ingredients": springtails, pillbugs (aka rolly-pollies), earwigs, and all. I can't imagine that the PESTicides will be all that kind to other, non-arthropod organisms in the compost pile, either. That's why I recommend letting the toxins degrade in place and then using the clippings.
Sure, some of the "compost critters" will survive, but why mess things up for them when you have the option not to? Just mark on the calendar when twice the degradation period (assuming that what you're using *does* degrade...) will have passed, and then start using the grass clippings.
If this is too much of a pain, there are alternate approaches to lawn maintenance in our Landscaping and Lawn forums; maybe that would be useful?
Cynthia (Vergil came home from TPLO surgery last night, I'm working at home this holiday weekend, those work deadlines keep coming...)