News Local

New school composting program

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

Schools in the town of Strathmore could be trying a new composting program thanks to the town’s Sustainability Committee and a donation from Huxted Waste and Recycle.

 

Goeff Ball, a member of the Strathmore Sustainability Committee, asked for council’s support to start a composting program in Strathmore schools during the April 5 meeting of Town council.

Town council voted unanimously to support the creation of a school composting program.

“When our committee formed in early 2016 we decided to focus on environmental aspects that we found could have the greatest impact on in the town of Strathmore,” said Ball.

“Huxted Waste and Recycle has agreed to donate a four or six yard bin as well as weekly pickup to any of the local Strathmore schools that are interested,” he said.

He outlined a number of benefits of the program, the first would be an environment where kids are raised so that composting and recycling are the norm.

“I do believe that students are becoming much more aware of their global impact, even compared to when I was in school,” said Ball.

“It’s good to see that continue. Kids would become better global citizens, more aware of the impact they are having, even just what’s happening with their trash. If they can compost organics rather than throwing it in the garbage, then all the better,” he said.

Ball noted that the program can work well with current Grade 4 science curriculum.

“Kids I believe would educate their parents. They would bring this knowledge home, it would perhaps snowball and parents would implement these programs, or the kids themselves at home,” he said.

The new program could also allow schools that have thought of implementing a composting program in the past to do so, if they were not able to financially previously.

Ball explained that there would be no cost to the town or taxpayers, but there may be a small cost to the schools that would be related to the purchase of classroom bins.

“I think this is a great program,” said councillor Steve Grajczyk.

Councillor Denise Peterson encouraged Ball and the Sustainability Committee to contact the Strathmore Storefront School to see if they would also be interested in participating in the program.

She said the school has a very good recycling program. She also noted that there are provincial initiatives that recognize green schools in Alberta.

Councillor Pat Fule added that Strathmore High School has a good recycling program where students recycle paper, and bottles and cans.

“Each classroom has it’s own bins, so this would be just a matter of adding in another bin,” said Fule.

“The kids are really diligent as far as picking up the stuff and we’ve seen such a massive increase in the amount that is being recycled. I think this would be great, ” said Fule.

Seven schools have been approached so far -- Brentwood Elementary, Westmount, Elementary, Wheatland Elementary, Sacred Heart Academy, Crowther Memorial Junior High, Strathmore High School and Trinity Christian Academy.

Ball also met with Wheatland Elementary School’s Eco Avengers, a group of Grade 1 to 6 students who are passionate about the environment and recycling.

“They showed a great amount of support and threw good questions at me about what the collection would look like,” he said.

“I saw overwhelming support from all the teachers, school administrators and the students themselves,” he said.

Composting is the process of breaking down organic matter like kitchen scraps, or leaves and branches and recycling it into nutrient rich soil.