Composting at Central has been growing in recent years thanks to student volunteers. What started as a way to generate better soil conditions in the college organic garden has grown into a way to divert waste from the landfill.
In the Spring of 2008 student volunteers began depositing coffee grounds from the Geisler Cafe into the composting bins behind the garden shed on a daily basis. After great success with this early endeavor it was expanded to vegetable and fruit waste in the Fall of 2010. In addition to the food waste being deposited gardeners also deposit grass clippings, weeds, and leaves into the bins. With the new demand for higher volumes of compost the bins began to deteriorate. After 10 years of service the olds bins were removed and replaced with new, sturdier bins that should last for decades.
Composting involves combining organic waste into a pile or bin and providing proper conditions for decomposition. There are many different methods to composting, but the most important component to composting is the conditions. There are three main components to creating proper conditions, they are proper ingredients, oxygen, and adequate moisture levels. If proper conditions are met compost piles will heat up and began decomposing at a rapid rate. There are materials composters should avoid such as meats, dairy, grains, bones, and pet manure.
Common materials to compost
- Vegetable scraps
- Fruit scraps
- Egg shells
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Tea bags
- Shredded office paper and cardboard
- Grass clippings
- Dry leaves
- Weeds (before they go to seed)
- Saw dust (no treated wood saw dust)
- Farm animal manure (small amounts)