SB County Provides School Composting Program

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Santa Barbara County Public Works and Explore Ecology will teach students at several Goleta Union School District campuses about composting and reducing the production of methane in our landfills. The program will provide the schools with composting education, tools, and other resources. In this hands-on educational program; students will become composting experts, develop composting skills, make positive environmental impacts, and eventually share knowledge with their classmates, community, and family. Students will ultimately use their experiences from the program to write a “how to” guide for composting in other schools.

Explore Ecology School Garden Program Director Alex Bereda says, “The main goal is to rescue food waste before it gets to the trash, and to compost that food waste into a useful product, which will be used in school gardens to grow more food – closing the loop.”

County Public Works Program Specialist Sam Dickinson says, “Schools generate large amounts of compostable food scraps and plant materials that can be recycled on-site into compost, an excellent fertilizer for school garden plants.”

This program is another example of how Santa Barbara County Public Works is working to reduce the production of methane in landfills by supporting alternatives to throwing food scraps and yard waste into the trash. Through the County’s Backyard Composting Program, the public can purchase composting bins at wholesale prices. Composting bins can be purchased at the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, located at 4430 Calle Real in Santa Barbara. Free educational resources and support are available onwww.LessIsMore.org/Compost.

Using a green waste recycling bin is another great way to help return organic materials back to nature and complete the organics loop. Yard waste like grass, leaves, flowers, and other plants that are placed in a green waste recycling bin is collected and chipped into a mulch product distributed locally to residents and farmers. County’s Mulch Program Coordinator Joey Costa says, “The main benefits of mulching is water conservation, weed prevention, and nutrient input.”  Get free “load your own” mulch at the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station in Santa Barbara.  For details visit www.LessIsMore.org/Mulch.

For more information on these or other county recycling programs, call 882-3618 or visit the County’s recycling website www.lessismore.org.

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