During Friday’s middle school service-learning afternoon, DCD’s Green Club met with Adam Jankauskasfrom City Compost to learn about the process and benefits of composting. Currently, City Compost is working with over 2000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts to collect food scraps and process this material into finished compost.
Adam talked to the students about the steps involved in the process of composting, highlighting the important chemistry involved in creating soil that can ultimately be used to grow more food. Back at the processing plant, food scraps are mixed with other materials such as leaves and wood chips to aid in the creation of soil. There is a lot of monitoring and tracking involved in the process like measuring bacteria and oxygen to make sure the ultimate product is usable for food growth. “It’s really cool to see all the science involved” commented one of the Green Club members.
It was interesting to learn that just two gallons of collected food scrap material could be turned into one square foot of growing space. Adam showed the students the breadth of food generating plants that could be grown in that small a space, such as 18 ears of fresh corn!
There was much discussion about what we could do here at DCD in terms of composting and completing the cycle with our own garden. Entities contracting with City Compost will be able to get back soil equal to the amount of scrap material they originally put into the system. Green Club students were excited at the prospect of exploring different possibilities for composting and growing at school. “Hey we have a woodshop that generates a lot of sawdust”, noted one student. “Couldn’t we use that in addition to our food scraps?” Much more than ‘food scraps for thought’ came out of Friday’s Green Club meeting!