26 September 2007Add to My Folder
Set up your own composting scheme to cultivate green fingers and help improve the environment
So what is a composting club? It is a group of children who help to set up, lead and run a composting scheme in school. They will have daily tasks and enjoy having an important role. Composting provides a great opener for the delivery of science, geography, citizenship, numeracy and literacy.
Through composting clubs, children not only find out more about improving the environment, but they also learn about teamwork, reliability and communication. The end product – compost – is a valuable resource, and by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, your school can reduce the costs of waste disposal.
- Everything you need to know to start composting is in the free Little Rotters Composting Handbook available from Environ Essentially, you need four basic ingredients – GREEN waste, BROWN waste, water, and a good supply of oxygen.
- Green waste is soft and moist, for example fruit and vegetable scraps and grass clippings.
- Brown waste is dry and crispy, for instance paper, cardboard and paper towels.
- The contents of the compost bin should have the texture of a wet sponge. If it looks too dry, add some more greens or sprinkle it with water; if it looks too wet, add more browns and give the heap a stir to let some air in.
- A compost heap can vary from a pile in the corner covered with a sheet of plastic, to a purpose-designed compost bin. Many local authorities provide composting bins free of charge to schools, so it is worth contacting them. When choosing your bin(s) you need to consider how much compost you will produce. A school of 200 children can compost over one tonne per year, the equivalent of two standard local authority bins. You need to make sure that the bin(s) is situated on grass or a soil base (not concrete), and that it is in an accessible, but unobtrusive location. (A corner of the playing field or next to any school gardens is ideal).
- In addition to the main compost bins, you will need a number of small collection caddies positioned strategically around the school site. These need to be strong, small enough to be carried comfortably by children, and easily identifiable. It is also useful if they have a carrying handle and lid.
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