The Compost Club has a simple mission. We fundamentally change the routine of waste handling onsite. We introduce a new school or business practice- put it here, not there. Twenty schools and businesses have joined our program, which all started in 2003 at Westside School, a small K-6 School in Healdsburg, Ca. Collectively, our effort now diverts more than 72,000 lbs. of food scraps from the landfill each year.
Our approach is simple, but it takes some effort. Schools approach us, and we help them assemble their team. Each school has a, well, “hero” that thinks the recycling of organic waste is a good idea and who will dedicate time to see it succeed. Often, we have one but not both of these situations. Once we have that lead person, a classroom (or employees) that will take on some daily recycling duties, and administrative support, we get to work.
To start the program, we calculate how much food waste is generated on campus, then estimate the number of worm bins to keep it running smoothly. We raise funds for the school or business through our fundraising efforts, and we then install the system once funding is secure.
With the ability to fund the program, we then deliver a classroom or school-wide lesson called “Recycling Changes Everything.” This builds awareness and some skills related to the tasks ahead. Once motivated, the lead person onsite works out the duties and routines. We work with the lead person to ensure that he or she has the skills and knowledge to keep a larger scale worm bins system functioning. A community building day is scheduled where the bins are installed onsite. Last year, the bins were prepared (frames and lids) by the Healdsburg High CASA (Constructions and Sustainability Academy) program.
At the end of the school year, we encourage the schools or businesses to harvest and sell their compost. This raises awareness of their sustainable practices related to waste handling. We assist schools to sell their compost when asked, occasionally hosting a booth at a farmer’s market or event where the students bring their compost, sift and bag it onsite, then sell the material. It’s not uncommon for school’s to raise $1000 annually through this effort.
It’s a simple program we’d like to grow. Read through our additional posts and other pages to learn why we do what we do on a deeper level, and keep us in mind for your backyard gardening or business composting needs.