Composting Presentation – March 20, 2018 RACOG Board Meeting

Todd Burker a teacher at Carthage Central High School and who also oversees the Sustainability Corp student group there, presented at the RACOG board meeting last night. He talked about the efforts that the Carthage Central School District has undertaken with their high school and middle school in composting food waste. In one year they composted around 17,000 pounds of food waste. The compost is used in a garden at the school to help grow tomatoes and peppers for the school cafeteria. He mentioned other benefits that could be tapped into, like heat extraction from the compost pile and capturing the methane gas.

Mr. Burker talked with the board about ways that local governments can get involved with composting and using it as a way to help with protecting against climate change, be recycling food waste and tapping into the energy that is given off during the composting process. It was mentioned about communities in Vermont that currently do this type of thing. He did note that the villages of Carthage and West Carthage do provide leaves and woody debris needed to the school for their composting when they do their roadside pickup of this type of material. He said it takes 2 parts of brown material (wood chips, leaves, etc.) to 1 part of green material (food waste) to have a good formula for composting. Having a potential voluntary citizen program for collecting food waste was discussed as a potential starting point to see how a community composting project might work and what the pitfalls might be.

It was also mentioned that there would be a Climate Change Forum on March 21, 2018 from 7pm to 8pm at Carthage Central High School.