School Composting during COVID-19

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Henriksen, Rebecca

Aug 31, 2020, 10:46:36 AM8/31/20
to School Garden Support Organization Network
Hi friends, is anyone's district/school building allowing food scrap composting this year? We usually have worm bins going in classrooms in addition to our composters in our school garden. There will be no eating in the building allowed this semester at least. I wanted to invite school families to bring scraps from home for a big turning composter I had purchased before shut down but I think my administrator will need convincing. If you are continuing with food scrap composting, could you please share your best practices for COVID and what you needed to make administrators feel ok  with it?

Thanks for any help!

Rebekka Henriksen
Zoller Gardens Coordinator
Jessie T. Zoller School
Schenectady, NY

Carissa Tirado Marks

Aug 31, 2020, 11:11:51 AM8/31/20
to Henriksen, Rebecca, School Garden Support Organization Network
Hi Rebekka,

At Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in DC we have a community compost program that consists of a three-bin hot compost system. The program is managed by two community members and the School Garden and Sustainability Coordinator (me 👋). We've kept it running successfully all Summer without any issues. We also have worms that I'm caring for since we don't have students in classrooms this quarter. 

I'd start by identifying how you'll be composting and the number of people, families, community members your tumblr can accommodate. Like a presentation. I like to include Kiss the Ground's Compost Story when shouting my love of compost from the rooftops to anyone that will listen :)

Some things to consider: 
  • Someone will need to be in charge. This person will need to keep an eye on the tumbler to determine if and when members will need to pause drop offs in the event that the tumbler gets too full. 
  • I would require people to go through a training on what compost is, why it's important, and how to do it properly, including the 2:1 greens/browns explanation, warnings for what can happen if people don't respect and follow this ratio, what items can and cannot go into the bins, etc. 
  • We also require that members participate in a certain number of volunteer days to help with upkeep, but this may not be necessary at this point in your program and under the current circumstances. 
I hope this is helpful! Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any other questions. Best of luck!


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Carissa Tirado-Marks
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers (Learn More)
School Garden & Sustainability Coordinator / Coordinador de Jardín Escolar y Sostenibilidad
Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS

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