Composting…At School

Environmental Club Introduces Compost Bins


Day three of composting (picture taken by senior Emily Hamant).

Taylor Harmon, Staff Writer

Environmental Club has introduced compost bins in the cafeteria. The bins were the brainchild of senior Emily Hamant, who brought the idea to biology teacher and Environmental Club adviser Mr. Matthew Shaltry.

“When we moved out of the new school, [the Environmental Club] took the black trash cans and used them as the compost bins,” said Shaltry. “Over Christmas break, they built their containment facility out in the woods.”

The bins are taken to the containers by club members every day during sixth period. Members have to sort through the bins by hand in order to dispose of unaccepted items.

“You can put in fruits, vegetables, peels, and grains,” said Hamant. “You cannot put meat, dairy, or plastic inside the bins. I still get some plastic everyday.”

Environmental Club was inspired to create the bins after seeing how much food is wasted daily in the high school, especially food left in plastic baggies which are handed out in the cafeteria.

“I knew that most food that goes into the landfill doesn’t decompose because there’s no air [in the plastic bags], so all this food is just taking up space,” said Hamant. “If I can compost at home, why can’t I do it at school?”

The central goal of the bins is to reduce the amount of waste in a landfill from the high school and to make people aware of their “footprint.” Other goals include using the compost for the landscaping of the high school or to create a product that the club can sell. They are set up during second period every day and will be in the cafeteria for the rest of the 2015-2016 school year.