Compost at Wayne Valley

Kristen Cinquino and Rohit Mistry

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The average breakfast meal consists of eggs, hash browns, orange juice, fruits, and coffee. All of these items mentioned are, most often than not, discarded. Americans, compared to other nations, create the greatest amount of waste, producing 4.4 pounds of garbage per person each day. A simple and easy solution to the problem is composting. From those breakfast items—the egg shells, potato skins, fruit peels, and coffee grinds—a natural fertilizer can be made for your garden!

The process for making this soil is as simple as five steps! First, food scraps are collected and then sorted to separate plastic and aluminum foil from the food. The food is then put into a compost machine and, with the addition of water, the scraps are ready to be composted. For eight hours, the machine works to transform the food into a rich soil. One cycle produces about one coffee container’s worth.

For two years, Janitor Floyd Foster has been collecting food scraps from the Wayne Valley cafeteria and turning them into compost soil. In the back kitchen, there is a small machine that perishable foods such as lettuce, tomatoes and even bagels are put into that compresses and turns the materials into soil. “Wayne Valley is the only school in Northern New Jersey that does this” said Floyd, “some colleges are even interested in using this for their schools.” Over 45 buckets of soil have been produced in the two years since Floyd began. The soil that is made will go toward the garden in Sophomore Square that the Garden Club is working on.  

Wayne Valley is also doing more to improve their sustainable energy sources. A new lighting system was installed that uses 75% less energy than regular lightbulbs, and the janitors are also using new cleaning products that are made of natural materials and innocuous chemicals.

Take a look around your school and watch as Wayne Valley’s thumb becomes greener!

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