Green Urbana

Composting at UMS

We better learn the good habits early.

For the composting project at Urbana Middle School, the LINC group defined the first problem as the high level of food waste in Urbana. The Urbana landfill is currently 40% filled with compostable materials and the average person throws away 1,200 pounds of organic compostable material every year. In order to initiate environmental change, the LINC group aimed to promote environmental education for youth in Urbana.

The LINC group decided on promoting a composting program at a local middle school to divert food waste from landfills. This judgment is based off the feedback from last semester’s LINC group and communi- ty partner Mr. Scott Tess. The project objectives are to execute a composting pilot program that collects food scraps from the 6th grade lunch period and to educate students on the significance of compositing.

Project deliverables

• Lesson Plan Handbook

This handbook is a compilation of different composting-related activities for dif- ferent age groups. This will be given to the UMS staff and it will hopefully be integrated into the science class curriculums at UMS.

• Composting Collection Program/Action Plan

The action plan contatins the details of the collection program. This will be a resource for the staff member who is overseeing the collection program. It includes an analy- sis of the pilot program as well as necessary future steps to ensure that the program is sus- tained.

Projected outcomes

The predicted outcomes of the composting program are to change the attitudes of students regarding waste diversion, a decrease in volume of landfill waste, and a decrease of methane produced in the landfill due to organic materials.

Goals of implementing the composting program at the Urbana Middle School:

  1. divert food scraps from landfills
  2. educate young students about composting and environmental sustainability.

Lunchroom Collection Objective: evaluate the growth of the students regarding the understand ing of composting as they engage in a classroom setting.

Lesson Plan Objective: provide a set of activities that can be taught by middle school teachers of any grade, after-school program staff, and staff of possible future events (such as Earth Day).