Faced with a mountain of yard waste and an average-sized compost bin, the Sergeant and I looked into renting a chipper-shredder. It's a shame to throw organic stuff in the dumpster, but a lot of it is just too big to compost easily.
Home Depot only had the industrial-sized kind used by tree services, and the cost was more than $100 a day. After I asked for advice on my gardening listserv, a member offered to sell us her 10hp model. She'd hardly used it, and stopped altogether once Boulder started a city composting program.
It started up just fine and the Sergeant got to work feeding in the tree branches, raspberry canes, fennel stalks and tomato vines. Here's what came out:
This stuff will make great mulch and break down nicely. The shredder's chutes come off, so it won't be hard to store.
It's a very satisfying thing to have.