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School composting options presentation
 

School composting options presentation

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For use in schools and classrooms. For more school waste reduction, recycling, and composting resources visit http://nerc.org/documents/index.html#SchoolWaste

For use in schools and classrooms. For more school waste reduction, recycling, and composting resources visit http://nerc.org/documents/index.html#SchoolWaste

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  • Teacher, Staff, &/or Parent
  • A suitable composting system depends on: available off-site services (both processing & hauling); available on-site composting area; amount of food & yard waste generated; student body size & age; concerns with bears or other issues for on-site composting; & labor needs & availability. Options include:Using an off-site compost facility (or animal feed or farm digester operation),on-site school composting using outside compost bins or pile, Vermicomposting (worm composting), & in-vessel composting, using a commercial system. Factors to consider when choosing a school compost system:Off-site composting options may be limited or hauling may not be available. On-site composting concerns - issues with bears or other critters. Custodial, parent, & student involvement? Is there enough dedication to manage an on-site composting operation? Consult other schools in the area or the local solid waste office to discuss options.
  • Some materials can be obtained for little or no cost, such as 5-gallon buckets for food scrap collection. Sponsors or grant funding may be available for other supplies & equipment. If an off-site compost operation will be used, work with the hauler to provide discount rates, especially if it is the same hauler collecting the school’s garbage & recyclables. Considering putting together a request for proposals to bid out services.
  • Phase in the project! Start with one lunch period a week or one class a week. Make sure the project is going well, there is plenty of help, etc. Then phase in additional lunch periods over the course of the school year.
  • See NERC’s cafeteria waste audit instructions (http://nerc.org/documents/waste_assessments_&_waste_audits.pdf)
  • Whether you compost organic materials on-site at the school or send them to an off-site compost facility, the process is essentially the same.
  • Composting requires a mix of food scraps (which are “nitrogen” or green materials) & carbon sources (“brown” materials), which include leaves, straw, paper, etc. It is important to start gathering carbon sources before starting the actual collection of food scraps.For proper composting you will need enough leaves or other carbon sources for a 60:40 ratio of carbon to nitrogen. In other words, about 2/3 of your compost pile will need to be comprised of leaves or carbon sources.
  • Piles or Windrows (an elongated pile) need to be at least 3 feet wide by 3 feet high by 3 feet long in order for the materials to heat up for proper composting.
  • Instruct students in proper lifting/hauling techniques for transporting the full compost collection containers to the compost area.
  • Compost collection should continue through the winter. Plan on a compost site that can be cleared of snow for easy access to the bins. Covering the bins (or pile) with a tarp will make it easier to open the bins.
  • Covering the food scraps with carbon sources each time they are emptied into the bin or pile is essential. This helps to ensure that the compost process will work & helps to keep critters from smelling the food.If bugs or critters become a problem, cover the food with a layer of agricultural lime in addition to the carbon sources. Agricultural lime can be purchased at a garden center. Keep it in a bucket (with a lid) next to the compost pile, use a scoop to pour it onto the food scraps.
  • Start with high-carbon ingredients; follow with high-nitrogen materials. Next, sprinkle on a thin layer of soil or "finished compost" & a little water—then mix well! Do not compact materials in the pile or bin. Keeping compost ingredients loose allows more oxygen to circulate through the materials. Turn the composting material once a week or so to speed the composting process. This allows more air to filter through the pile or bin & exposes more material to the pile's feeding organisms. It may be easiest for students to mix materials on the ground first, & then shovel them into the bin.After several weeks, a good mixing of materials inside the bin/pile as new materials are added should be adequate, without a full turning. However, if the compost is not heating up or odor problems arise, the materials may need to be removed from the bin & turned. Compost piles (without a bin for containment) may need to be turned more often to maintain active composting.
  • To limit the frequency of turning, a perforated pipe can be placed on the bottom of the bin or pile to help provide aeration into the pile.
  • There is a solution to pretty much every compost problem. The key is to not give up, but to find the solution!
  • The Internet is full of instructional materials on using worms in classrooms.
  • Enough worm bins to handle the food scraps generated at this school during the year.
  • Worm compost bins can be made out of a variety of materials. Here bins were constructed out of plastic irrigation pipe.
  • Plastic tubs are inexpensive & are excellent for classroom bins.Wooden box bins can be easily constructed for use either indoors or outdoors. Outside Worm Bin: A wooden bin approximately 1.5 feet high x 2 feet long x 3.5 feet wide is a good size. If the entire school’s food scraps are to be collected & fed to the worms, several bins will likely need to be constructed. Make two or three rows of quarter-inch holes on all sides for air, plus drain holes near the bottom. Worm bins can also be built into the ground using scrap lumber or cinder blocks. Outside worm bins will need to be insulated from both the heat & the cold. Consult NERC for worm bin construction & insulation information.
  • Worm Bedding: Enough torn cardboard to fill the bin about half-way full, loose & dry. Shredded cardboard should be 1-2 inches in size. Also needed—garden soil (not potting soil), finished compost, or s&, about one cup per bin. Worms need soil or s& to aid in their digestion.Also have a crushed egg shell (empty of contents).Moisture: Water & a spray bottle (like the kind used for plants), as well as a bucket or tub will be needed. Worms must be kept moist at all times. All areas of the worm bin & bedding should be kept moist. Water should not puddle in the bin, however. Worms breathe through their skin & require moisture to do this….if they are not kept moist, they die! However, if soaking in water they will drown.
  • Yes, worms eat paper as well as vegetables!
  • See NERC’s Cafeteria Food Waste Reduction Tip Sheet - http://nerc.org/documents/index.html#SchoolWaste.

School composting options presentation School composting options presentation Presentation Transcript

  • School Composting OptionsAthena Lee Bradley athena@nerc.org802-254-3636Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.www.nerc.org
  • AcknowledgementsThe Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.(NERC) was awarded a United StatesDepartment of Agriculture Rural UtilityServices Solid Waste Management Grant in2009 to provide direct technical assistance &training in waste reduction, recycling, &composting to rural schools inConnecticut, New York, & Delaware. Eightschools participated in NERC’s WasteReduction & Recycling (WR&R) project overthe course of two years. Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • DisclaimerThis material is based upon work supportedunder a grant by the UtilitiesPrograms, United States Department ofAgriculture. Any opinions, findings, &conclusions or recommendations expressedin this material are solely the responsibilityof the authors & do not necessarilyrepresent the official view of the UtilitiesPrograms. Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • How to Use this Presentation This presentation provides detailedinformation about how to establish a food waste diversion & compostingprogram in schools. There are notes with substantive information associated with many of the slides. Be sure to look at this presentation in “notes view” mode.Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • BackgroundNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • NERC Resources for SchoolsThis presentation is designed as a supplement to acompanion document—NERC’s School Composting Optionshttp://www.nerc.org/documents/composting_school_food_paper.pdfSeveral school waste reduction, recycling, & compostingdocuments were developed by NERC as a result of thisproject.Presentations & Tip Sheets are available for download athttp://www.nerc.org/documents/index.html#SchoolWaste. These documents include detailed information & resources to support school source reduction, reuse, recycling, & composting efforts. Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Why Compost? Each student generates 2+ pounds compostable waste each school day 60-85% of school waste could be recycled or composted Can significantly reduce waste stream & disposal costs Offers hands-on learning that can be integrated into school curriculum— science, math, & more Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Why Compost, cont. Decomposition of organic material in landfills contributes to methane gas production (“climate change gases”) in landfills Compost is a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to plants, soil stability, erosion control, & more Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • What is Compost? Value-added product: converts waste material to easy-to-handle, useful product Soil-like material, rich in organic matter & organisms Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Benefits of Compost in Soil  Improves Physical Properties: Increases water retention; improves soil aeration & structural stability; resistance to water & wind erosion; root penetration; soil temperature stabilization  Enhances Chemical Properties: Increases macro- & micro-nutrient content; availability of beneficial minerals; pH stability; converts nutrients to a more stable form, reducing fertilizer requirements  Improves Biological Properties: Increases activity of beneficial micro-organisms; promotes root development; can increase agricultural crop yields; suppresses certain plant diseases; acts as biofilter, bonding heavy metalsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Getting StartedNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Start-UpStep 1 Form a committee Be sure there is administrative support for effort Include cafeteria & custodial staff  Custodial involvement in composting? Designate a coordinatorNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Start-Up, cont.Step 2 Decide if school will compost material on-site or ship food waste to a commercial compost facility To find a commercial compost facility:  Ask your current trash hauler  Look online or in the phone book under composting  Contact your state environmental agencyo Before deciding to compost at the school, confer with your state environmental agency & local Board of Health to learn about regulatory & permitting requirements Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Start-Up, cont.Step 3 Decide student group(s) responsible for compost tasks  Environmental Club?  Representative class or group from each grade level? o Project-Based Learning? o Life Skills? Will classes or student groups rotate responsibilities or work together? Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Start-Up, cont. Step 4: Formulate a budget  If composting off-site, hauling charges & container rental charges must be determined  on-site composting will require an initial investment in compost bins  Labor costs will vary depending upon the compost system & availability of students to assist  Collection buckets, shovels, & other supplies will also be neededNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Start-Up, cont. Enthusiasm = Success!  Students, staff, teachers, & administration Set a goal for the project  Such as, diversion of food wastes all lunch periods by end-of-school yearNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Dedication & Planning! Composting requires ongoing dedication & attention to ensure success Phase-in composting over the course of a year  One lunch session at a time  One grade at a timeNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Waste Sort Conduct a cafeteria waste sort  Compostable: vegetables, fruits, bread  Recyclables  Trash: plastics, meat, dairy Estimated weights/volumes for each lunch session  Calculations will help determine number of compost bins needed Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • How Composting HappensNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Compost SystemNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Recycled Organics University, www.recycledorganics.com
  • Its Like Baking a Cake…  One part food scraps  Two parts leaves  Moisture  Aeration  Containment & coverNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Basic Compost Recipe  Nitrogen ("green") nutrients: "Wet" green materials such as kitchen preparation waste, cafeteria lunch wastes (vegetable & fruit scraps, coffee grounds, napkins, etc.), fresh grass clippings, manure, & fertilizers  Carbon ("brown") nutrients: "Dry" woody, “bulking” materials such as fallen leaves, dry grass, brush clippings, hay or straw, dry weeds, wood ash, sawdust, newspaper, & coffee filters  Create a "nutrient stew": Approximately 1/3 high-nitrogen containing material & 2/3 high-carbon containing material (by volume)Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Recipe, cont. Add a little soil: Soil or finished compost provides microorganisms necessary in composting process Moisture: School food scraps are usually wet. If not, add water or leave materials uncovered during rain. Materials should be moist like a damp sponge Air: Microorganisms need lots of air to work & decompose the materials Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • The Process Decomposers: bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes Heat is released by microorganisms during aerobic metabolism of an organic substrate (e.g. glucose) Temperature influences microbial population  Initial stage: Mesophilic bacteria  As temperature rises, mesophilic organisms begin to die off & thermophilic organisms begin to thrive Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Do Not Compost Meat, Cheese, Creamy Sauces Small amounts of cheese & meats are okay, such as on pizza.Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • on-site School Composting Site Set-upNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Location Find a convenient outdoor location that can be a permanent site Before deciding on a compost area, discuss it with:  School officials, Board of Health, state environmental agency, custodians, food service staff, other teachers (especially physical education) & neighbors Area: 10 ft. wide x 10 ft. in length Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Location, cont.  Nearby vehicle access is helpful  Do not pile next to a wood fence or building  Slightly sloped to allow drainage  If necessary, drainage holes or channels can be dug around the compost bin or pile  Avoid setting up near pine trees  Needles are too acidicNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Location, cont. Soil or grass is best surface School garden area is ideal Water should be accessible  A bucket is okay; watering hose is best Some sun is preferable Away from buildings, streams Close proximity to the cafeteria Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Begin Gathering Materials Begin gathering leaves, straw, & other carbon (“brown”) sources  Distribute a message to teachers, parents, & community asking for sources to be brought to the school  Designate a drop-off location  Decide how materials will get from the drop-off location to the compost area Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Gathering Materials, cont.  Set-up compost area in preparation of storing the carbon materials  Consider building an inexpensive chicken wire fenced area for storage  Use a tarp, scrap sheet metal, or corrugated plastic to cover materials  It is best not to keep leaves in plastic bags  Leaves are bulky- plan for proper storage to prevent unsightliness  Mowing over leaves to reduce volume is preferableNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Gathering Materials, cont. Other sources of carbon:  Animal bedding  Old straw  Shredded paper. Newspaper is best.  Sawdust Grass & leaves generated on campus?  Can these be brought to the compost area? Okay to mix carbon materials Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Pile or Windrow At least 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet Start with a layer of carbon materials on bottom  Wood chips or sawdust, straw, or leaves Perforated pipe on the bottom Layer materials; always cover food with soil & leaves/bulking materials Water as necessary Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Compost Bins If bins are to be constructed:  Who will make the bins?  How will materials be obtained? Solicit sponsorship  Donating materials or compost bins in exchange for signage & promotion  Carpenters Union to construct bins Tarp to cover bins (or pile) in the winter & during heavy rains Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Bins, continued Wood, pallets, or concrete blocks  Nine pallets will make a 3-bin set  Landscape timbers can also be used 3-5 feet high  Enough capacity to hold ~4 cubic yards of material (16 wheelbarrows worth)  Widths can range from 5-8 feet Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Bins, continued Layer materials; always cover food with soil & leaves/bulking materials Water materials as added, if necessary Fill the first bin until full When the first bin is full, begin filling the second bin Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Bins, continued When the second bin is full, begin filling the third bin When third bin is full, harvest materials in first bin  Cover with tarp until fully composted Stir/mix materials regularly to aerate Add additional bins if necessary Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Compost Bins Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Hubbardston Center School, MA Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Karen DiFranza, Hands To Earth
  • Mansfield Middle School, ConnecticutNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Mansfield Middle School, ConnecticutNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Sample Compost Bin - Purchase Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Food Scrap Collection SystemNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Monitoring & Collection Tasks Assign project tasks & train students & teachers in ongoing composting tasks Develop a schedule of tasks & assign teachers/students to complete each task  Ensures that everything gets done without overburdening anyone Rotate tasks so that experiences can be shared & to avoid project “burn out” Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Collecting & Transporting Materials Determine how food waste will be collected in kitchen & in cafeteria  Students, custodial staff, teacher, &/or parent? Food waste is heavy  Smaller containers work best, especially if students are transporting Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Food Scrap Collection Bins Five-gallon buckets with lids  Often these are available at no cost from restaurants or stores, or through a Materials Exchange Curbside bins or small trashcans Carts (Toters) on wheels Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Cafeteria Monitors Ensure that only compostable food waste & napkins (soiled paper) end- up in compost collection tubs Assist students sorting compostable scraps into collection bin Help students learn what is acceptable & not acceptable for composting Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Collection Set-Up Provide collection bins in kitchen for prep waste Place cafeteria collection bins in one area  Near where students normally bus tables & place trays for washing Label each bin with a clear sign Monitor collection for at least first couple of months Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Manchester Essex Regional School District Compost Collection in the Hallways Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org © Manchester Essex Regional School District, MassachusettsE
  • Manchester Essex Regional School District Kitchen CafeteriaNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org © Manchester Essex Regional School District, Massachusetts
  • Mansfield Middle School, CT Food Collection BarrelNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Mansfield Middle School Sort LineNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Hubbardston Center School Sort Line, MassachusettsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Karen DiFranza, Hands To Earth
  • Moving Collected Materials Buckets or bins can be placed on a wagon or flat-bed wheeled garden cart for transport Collection carts on wheels  Tilted for emptying  Lined with bags for removalNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Taking Food Scraps to the BinsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • In the Snow…Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Karen DiFranza, Hands To Earth
  • Emptying Collected MaterialsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Covering the Food ScrapsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Closing the BinNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Making CompostNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Compost System Maintenance Regularly review tasks with participants  Acceptable materials, collection logistics, maintenance, etc. Review proper attire, proper hygiene (e.g., gloves, washing hands), proper lifting Review how to safely handle shovels/other tools  Proper way to hold & use shovels to load & mix materials  Proper method of aerating the compost  Use of compost thermometer Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Turning or Mixing Materials Turning = Air = Faster Composting  1-2x per week will make compost in 1-6 months, depending on compost ingredients & outside temperature Piles that are not turned will take up to 18 months to be ready Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Equipment Shovels &/or pitch forks Small bobcat or tractor with bucket, if available An aerating tool  Metal rod, pipe, rake, or sturdy wood stick Compost thermometer  To study the biology of composting process Bathroom scale  Measure results Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Turning the CompostNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Virginia Walton, Mansfield, CT
  • Turning By HandNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Photo: Karen DiFranza, Hands To Earth
  • Aeration SystemsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Mansfield Middle School – What Worked Best Teacher compost duty Town staff support Counterweighted lids Bins sized to fit tractor Special education class participation Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Mansfield Middle School Results – 10 year period 43.27 tons composted $3,030 in avoided trash fees 40-45% diversion (recycling & composting) 2,200 students participated ~22 cubic yards finished compost Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Manchester Essex Regional School District, Massachusetts Reduced trash by ~95% in dining hall & ~85% in kitchen Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.orgS
  • Edible School Yard Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org © Manchester Essex Regional SchoolE District, Massachusetts
  • TroubleshootingPreventive help against critters/flies: Always cover food with leaves & finished compost/soil  Cover with thin layer of agricultural lime if fruit flies or rodents are a problem Chicken wire on bottom & sides of binsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Troubleshooting, cont.Bears:  Enclose bins in fence  Keep bins away from school buildings  Build heavy-duty wood bins with steel- framed lids/steel mesh (using pulley- system to lift lids)Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Troubleshooting, cont. Pile Smells “putrid”/like rotten eggs or is too wet:  Turn pile & increase turning frequency until problem subsides  Increase carbon/brown sources, such as bedding  Cover to protect Pile not heating up:  Add additional nitrogen—vegetable scraps  Turn pile & add water throughout pileNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • You Do Not Have to Start Over!! When in doubt, turn the pile Check moisture content  If too wet, add carbon sources & mix  If too dry, add nitrogen sources & water, then mixNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • How many Compost Bins?Conversions for determining compostbin size: 50 pounds = 15 gallons 100 pounds = 30 gallons 200 pounds = 60 gallonsNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • So… 50 pounds of food waste per week = ~15 gallons Add at least 2x the amount of brown "bulky” to calculate total gallons- per-week figure  15 gallons of food waste + 30 gallons of brown materials = 45 gallons  There are 7.5 gallons in one cubic foot. So,  45 gallons divided by 7.5 = ~6 cubic feet Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • So… A constructed bin with 3 x 3 x 3 dimensions gives you 27 cubic feet of space In ~4 weeks the bin will be filled A new bin can then be started, or the composted materials can be removed from the original bin & set aside in a pile to finish composting Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Worm Composting or “Vermicomposting"Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Worm Composting A process that uses worms to convert organic material into a dark rich soil amendment. A worm composting bin in the classroom offers an exciting demonstration of ecology & recycling in action. Larger outside bins can be built for composting cafeteria food scraps. Schools may find it beneficial to do a combination of both regular on-site school composting & worm composting. Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Vermicompost BinNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org Liberty Middle School, NY
  • Parkside Elementary Sebastopol, CANortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org The Compost Club (www.compostclub.org )
  • Vermiculture Bin System at Wright Charter School, CANortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org The Compost Club (compostclub.org)
  • Home Sweet Wormy Home 7 - 14 gallon plastic bin (colored, not clear or see-through), with holes drilled ~ every 2” (using a 3/8” drill bit works best) around bin & lid, with a few on the bottom Wooden box with holes around side & bottom (1.5’ H x 2’ D x 3’ W) Enough shredded cardboard to fill the bin ~ half-way full, loose Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Home Sweet Wormy Home, cont.  Garden soil (not potting soil) or finished compost, ~1 cup per bin  A crushed egg shell  ~¼ - ½ pound of worms or ~300 - 500 worms per bin  A three-pronged hand fork or trowel  A small water spray bottle (like kind used for plants) Worms & bedding must be moist at all times Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Home Sweet Wormy Home, cont.  Soak cardboard, drain, & squeeze  The cardboard should be thoroughly moistened, like a damp sponge, but water should not pool in the bin  Mix cardboard, soil, egg shell, & some water in the worm bin  Put the worms into their new home  Wait a few days to feed the worms  They will start eating the paper bedding & get used to their new home Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • A Healthy Wormy Diet Salad, veggies  Shredded carrots Lettuce  Pizza crust Bread  Cheese Crackers  Egg shells Coffee grounds  Cereal (no milk) Tea bags  Popcorn Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Where to Get Worms Check the Internet  http://www.redwormcomposting.com/  http://www.unclejimswormfarm.com/  Google “Compost worms” or Red Wigglers Check with Garden Stores Bait supply stores  Make sure the worms are healthy & alive! Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Off-Site CompostingNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Off-Site Food Scrap Diversion Options Locate a livestock operation or compost facility  Check with local solid waste official  Check Internet or phone book for farm listings, farm organizations, farms that raise chickens or pigs, have digesters for energy production, or have on-site composting  Contact farm or operation to see if would be willing to accept food scraps from the school Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Off-Site Options, cont. Determine exact materials that are acceptable by farmer or compost operation  A compost operation or digester can often accept soiled paper (such as napkins) & all food scraps, even meat  Livestock operations may only accept specific vegetable scraps Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Off-Site Options, cont. Develop a collection plan (same as for on-site composting) Determine how the materials will be stored before going to the farm or compost operation Determine how materials will get from the school to the farm or compost operation  Is there a local hauler that collects organics?  Would the farmer be willing to collect the materials?  Is there a volunteer that would transport the materials? Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Food Waste ReductionNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Cafeteria Food Waste Reduction Zero waste lunches “Offer Versus Serve”  Allows students to decline food items they do not want  Acceptable under USDA national school lunch & breakfast programs Smart Food Handling Techniques  Better management to reduce overproduction & trim waste  Losses due to spoilage, overcooked items, contaminated items, & dropped items Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • ResourcesNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Resources Available on NERC Website: Action Tip Sheets http://www.nerc.org/documents/index.html#S choolWaste Rural School Recycling Waste Assessments   & Waste Audits Success  Waste Audit Sheets  School Composting Options  School Waste Assessment Form  Fundraising with  School Reuse Tips Recycling  Paper Use Reduction  Rural School Case in Schools Studies in Waste Reduction, Reuse, Rec  School Cafeteria ycling, & Composting Waste Reduction  School Web ResourcesNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Resources Available on NERC Website, contd Presentations Case Studies  Rural School Recycling  Academy of the Holy Success Family, Connecticut  Composting at School  Sayles  Sustainable Recycling for School, Connecticut. Schools  John M. Clayton Implementing a Successful Elementary School, Delaware  Green School Program Hands to Earth: Educating  Pencader Charter High School, Delaware  for a Sustainable World Manchester Essex  Eldred School District, New York  (Massachusetts) Regional School District Composting  Liberty School  Mansfield Middle School District, New York (Connecticut) CompostingNortheast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org
  • Other Resources Tools to Reduce Waste in Schools http://www.epa.gov/wastes/education/toolkit.htm Materials for Recycling www.ciwmb.ca.gov/gallery/wasteprev Lesson Plans & Other Resources www.paperrecycles.org Go Green School Initiative www.gogreeninitiative.org Green School Resources http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8803.html The Green Team www.thegreenteam.org Various School Resources www.kab.org Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. © September 2011 www.nerc.org