ANR Secretary Moore Tours Berlin Elementary Compost System

Students show how compost connects them to science, soil, and food

Montpelier, Vt. – ANR Secretary Julie Moore, toured Berlin Elementary’s school composting system today to learn about how their composting efforts contribute to healthy soils, reduce landfill waste, and will support the growth of their school garden.

Students at Berlin Elementary have been composting for 8 years—diverting a total 60 tons of food scraps. As part of International Compost Awareness Week (May 7-13), students led Secretary Moore on a compost tour from plates in the cafeteria, to classroom worm bins, to their newly built outdoor composting system and garden space.

“It is so great to see these kids making the connection between their food and the soil from which it came, and literally taking this message home with them,” said Julie Moore, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. “Compost builds the health and quality of our soils. Compost-rich soils promote agricultural productivity, and also play a vital role in improving water quality.”

Using food scraps for high-value uses such as compost production as an alternative to landfilling is a central part of the Universal Recycling law—Vermont’s recycling and composting initiative.

“Berlin Elementary has gone above and beyond basic recycling and composting with their ‘close the loop’ initiatives. Berlin students know how worms can turn apple cores into castings, how paper towels can change into a soil amendment and that food is a valuable natural resource that should not be wasted,” said Brenna Toman, School Zero Waste Coordinator, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District.

In July 2020, the law requires food scraps to be separated from trash.  Composting helps fight climate change, creates healthy soil and food, and keeps your trash from stinking.  Composting doesn’t need to be a chore.  You can compost at home using a bin available at your town or solid waste district, or bring your compost to your local drop-off center.

For more information visit www.vtrecycles.com or find your local solid waste district or town at www.802recycles.com.

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