- Identify potential community sources of material for composting
- Present the composting program to potential community partner
Your Earth Cube can accept up to 50 lbs of material a day. The finished product will lose more than 50% of its initial volume in the form of escaping gases, evaporation, and leachate. But that still leaves a large amount of black gold to be used in the raised planters, the hoop house, or sold to the community for use in home gardens.
With so much potential for nutrient recovery, where can you find the inputs you need to keep your composter running at full speed and full capacity? Every community has restaurants, and many are more than willing to do their part to support school activities, especially those that benefit the community. But don’t forget the bulking agent to balance the greens and browns. A great composting partner would be any organization with an abundance of leaves or wood chips and shavings, like landscape maintenance companies, the city grounds crew or a local lumber yard.
Reaching out to these community members to form a partnership with your lab is a good way to involve your program in the community and close an existing waste production loop.
Tools & Materials
- Paper and pencil or a chalkboard
- Composting Log - for scheduling pickups
- 5 gallon buckets
- Bulking agent
- Compostable scraps
- Black gold
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by asking the Students where they think they might source inputs – like greens and browns – for the composter. Ask them to consider which businesses in the community might have food scraps, wood chips, leaves, or grass clippings.
Activity (20 minutes)
As a class, create a list of local businesses that might be interested in providing inputs. Start with those business that are in close geographic proximity to the Edible Learning Lab to minimize the collection effort. Have the Students categorize them based on whether they would provide browns or greens.
Discussion (10 minutes)
How should we reach out to each business to determine their interest? How would we collect the inputs from our business partners? How often?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you can name three places in our community where we could source inputs for our composting program?
- Now that you know what can be composted, how many of you can name three places where we could source inputs for our composting program?
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