East High School Students & Staff to Reduce School Waste through Composting Grant Beginning Oct. 10

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Thanks to a dozen “green-minded” and environmentally conscious teachers at East High School, this school year students at East will get an up-close and personal lesson on waste composting and its benefits. Last school year, teachers at East noticed that compostable items were being thrown away at school, and they wanted to make a change. After applying for a grant through the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay’s Institute for Learning Partnership, the “Green Bay East Composting Project” was awarded $3,000 for their two-phase project in May of 2013. Students will begin the hands-on composting project Thursday, October 10.

The project consists of two different kinds of composting – vermicomposting within science, ESL and agri-science classrooms, and the creation of outdoor static piles with the ultimate goal of reducing the amount of biodegradable material that is deposited into landfills. Vermicomposting consists of worms in composting bins that eat the food waste and turn it into “castings,” or feces. The castings are then dried for use in gardens as fertilizer. Static pile composting consists of using compostable materials from the school cafeteria and truckloads of leaves to biodegrade in a pile, and then for use as soil in gardens.

Students will study both types of composting using the scientific method to conclude which is more effective, and the final results will be gathered in one year. The vermicomposting method will begin in classrooms Thursday, October 10, and the static pile will be started in early November.

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