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County Planting Seeds of Knowledge About Composting in Minds of Goleta Students

Lowering amounts of methane coming from landfills is goal of green waste-recycling programs.

Santa Barbara County Public Works and Explore Ecology will teach students at several Goleta Union School District campuses about composting and reducing the production of methane in our landfills. The program will provide the schools with composting education, tools and other resources.

In this hands-on educational program, students will become composting experts, develop composting skills, make positive environmental impacts, and eventually share knowledge with their classmates, community and family. Students will ultimately use their experiences from the program to write a how-to guide for composting in other schools.

Hands-on lessons will give kids experience with composting. Click to view larger
Hands-on lessons will give kids experience with composting. (Santa Barbara County Public Works Department)

“The main goal is to rescue food waste before it gets to the trash, and to compost that food waste into a useful product, which will be used in school gardens to grow more food — closing the loop,” said Alex Bereda, director of the Explore Ecology School Garden Program.

“Schools generate large amounts of compostable food scraps and plant materials that can be recycled on-site into compost, an excellent fertilizer for school garden plants,” added Sam Dickinson, county Public Works program specialist.

This program is another example of how county Public Works is working to reduce the production of methane in landfills by supporting alternatives to throwing food scraps and yard waste into the trash. Through the county’s Backyard Composting Program, the public can buy composting bins at wholesale prices.

The bins can be purchased at the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, 4430 Calle Real in Santa Barbara. Free educational resources and support are available at www.LessIsMore.org/Compost.

Using a green waste-recycling bin is a good way to help return organic materials back to nature and complete the organics loop. Yard waste — such as grass, leaves, flowers and other plants — placed in a green waste-recycling bin is collected and chipped into a mulch product distributed locally to residents and farmers.

Joey Costa, the county’s mulch program coordinator, said: “The main benefits of mulching is water conservation, weed prevention, and nutrient input.”  Get free “load your own” mulch at the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station. For details visit www.LessIsMore.org/Mulch.

For more information on these or other county recycling programs, call 882-3618 or visit the county’s recycling website www.lessismore.org.

Sam Dickinson for the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department


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