Three Comox Valley schools saving scraps for compost program

“We’re well on our way … and we hope to continue to add more schools this year.”

School District 71 has three schools in a compost program and is hoping to increase the number taking part. Black Press File Photo

School District 71 has three schools in a compost program and is hoping to increase the number taking part. Black Press File Photo

While going green has been a priority for many, some local students have gone the extra step.

Last fall, some Isfeld students could not appear in person but were able to make a presentation about a school composting plan to the board of education via Zoom.

Assistant superintendent Geoff Manning said the board then asked staff to put together a proposal for composting potential in the district.

“We had one secondary and one elementary do a trial pilot project,” he told the board at the September meeting.

Isfeld and Arden students worked with Earth Warriors, a local group that picks up composting material to take to farms for re-use.

Isfeld purchased containers so that Earth Warriors could retrieve the organic material on a weekly basis. The full cost was about $160 a month. Arden got a “backdoor neighbour” deal, Manning says, for $25 a month.

“Both schools did it for the entire year, and it was very successful,” he said.

Isfeld has really taken ownership of the composting program, he said, though Earth Warriors still comes to collect material. The school though is doing more to gather it up and bring it to a spot for retrieval. It is buying liners for its storage containers.

At Arden, leadership students are gathering the compost for collection on a weekly basis.

There’s also a third participant for the program, according to Manning, as Lake Trail has joined with Earth Warriors for the composting portion of its zero-waste initiative.

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“We have three schools up and running,” he said.

Manning added that they do not yet know if there is capacity for Earth Warriors to take on all of the schools in the district. One of the challenges is that there are four jurisdictions in the school district area — specifically three local governments and the regional district — and all have different set-ups for collecting waste, but the assistant superintendent is optimistic the school district can expand its program.

“We’re well on our way, we’re getting good results and we hope to continue to add more schools this year,” he said.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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