The Commercial Composting Project is a school wide composting program that sends all compostable cafeteria waste to Black Bear Composting. The program exists at Sutherland Middle, Jouett Middle, and Meriwether Lewis Elementary School.
At the end of each lunch period, students have the opportunity to compost and recycle their waste.
At the waste station, students deposit food, scraps, napkins, and other compostable items into the Food Bin.
The ACPS Student Composting Program
Students sign up to partake in a training program that teaches them what to compost, recycle, and throw away. During lunch periods, students who have been trained help other students sort through their lunches to separate the compostable materials from the waste.
Benefits of Composting
- Composting returns nutrients to the soil
- Composting keeps organics out of the trash, diverts waste, and saves landfill space
- Composting reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Black Bear Composting
Founded in 2010, Black Bear Composting serves various organizations in Central Virginia. They collect food scraps and yard trimmings to compost. Black Bear Composting picks up the cafeteria waste at the three schools twice a week and brings it to its composting site on a farm in Crimora, Virginia.
Leaves and woodchips are added to the collected compost to ensure an ideal carbon-to-nitrogen ratio to perfect the composting process. After inspection of contaminants, the compost is then placed in long rows and covered with a waterproof geotextile.
The compost is then mixed and watered by a windrow turner. The compost is tested daily for temperature, oxygen, and moisture levels. After six months, the composted has aged and can be used as soil for a garden or lawn.
The final product