Green event Composting Volunteer Training
What is Compost? • Aerobicprocess • Microorganisms (bacteria, fungi) decompose organic matter and use as a food source, producing heat, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and humus. • 67% of waste in the U.S. is compostable!
Benefits of Composting • Alternative waste disposal—methane reduction! • Absorbs VOC’s, odors, and other soil contaminants • Soil retention: prevents runoff and erosion • Reduce the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides • Humus--a rich nutrient-filled material--increases the nutrient content in soils and helps soils retain moisture
What Can I Compost? • What Goes in the Compost Bins • All food (including meat, bread, cheese, fruit & vegetables, pasta, tea bags, etc.) • Food-soiled paper (e.g., paper plates, napkins, waxed paper cups, pizza boxes) • Plant-based cutlery/paper products (wooden chopsticks/toothpicks (without cellophane decorative tops—avoid these), biodegradable forks / cups) • What Does Not Go in the Compost Bins • Plastic wrap, plastic utensils, wrappers, plastics of any kind. • Glass • Metal • Plastic-coated paper (waxed paper is okay!)
Backyard vs. Commercial • Corn and sugar-based “plastics” and meat should be usually left out of backyard composters. • Both of these materials are suited for commercial composting, such as the one used by Carolina Dining Services and collected by Brooks Contractors.
Biodegradable vs. Compostable • Biodegradable • Compostable
Value of Volunteers • Contamination • Non-compostable materials such as plastic and Styrofoam do NOT break down, but still end up in visible chunks in the finished product. • Must be sorted out so compost is still usable and healthy
Volunteer Roles • Set-up bins • Monitor bins • Take down • Sort contaminants • Take to commercial compost drop-off
Importance of Education • Make an announcement • Clear and reusable signage • Promote as a green event
Questions? Green Event Info? Kenneth Bryan GreenEvents@fac.unc.edu www.Carolinagreen.unc.edu