Did you know?

Most people believe organic waste will naturally decompose once put into landfills. However, under certain conditions, many cooked foods, such as steaks and hot dogs remain relatively unchanged after more than 10 years, and newspapers are still readable after spending 20 years in the landfill (Trivia, Facts and Other Stuff, n.d.).

Why compost?

Composting as a way to enrich soils and to minimize the amount of trash sent to landfills. By composting instead of throwing your trash into the landfill, you are also reducing production of certain greenhouse gasses (Environmental Benefits, 2008).


What is the process of composting?

Composting is a cycle that starts in your backyard with organic waste such as food scraps and finishes up with nutrient rich organic matter. It can be done with or without worms (most commonly red wigglers).

How does worm composting happen?

Worms eat food scraps and other organic wastes that become compost as they pass through the worm's body. Compost exits the worm through its' tail end and is extremely nutrient-rich. If you take care of your worms and maintain a favorable environment, they will work hard by eating your "garbage" and turning it into compost. This compost can be added to your garden’s soil and help your plants grow (Fong and Hewitt, n.d.).

What do we put into a compost pile?

In order to get a compost pile started you need to have a combination of organic material such as food scraps (fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, and coffee grounds), grass clippings, leaves, wood shavings, paper, and cardboard (Composted, n.d.). These materials add carbon and nitrogen, two essential ingredients to the compost pile. Also necessary are oxygen and water. These four ingredients, when combined in proper ratios, stimulate microorganisms to break down the food and garbage.

What does not belong in a compost bin?
(Can be composted in some cases, but not recommended for home or classroom composting.)

  • Meat
  • Dairy products
  • Fat
  • Bones
  • Oil
  • Human and animal waste

What can you do to experience compost in the classroom?
Set up a worm compost bin.

How do we set up a worm compost bin?
See Six Easy Steps to Setting Up a Worm Bin

Activities in the Classroom
While we encourage a more non-traditional inquiry approach to teaching and learning, here are some interesting lesson plans that can be adapted for use in a more exploratory type environment.

Vermicomposting Classroom Activities
Compost in a Bottle
Building a Soda Bottle Bioreactor
Wrigglers At Work
Collecting Compost - Activities and Worksheets

For any other questions about composting CLICK HERE

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