In partnership with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Roanoke Valley Resource Authority, and The Harvest Collective, Clean Valley Council presents a composting project for households and schools to teach them how to turn their food waste into garden compost.
The organization will give 40 participants from around the Roanoke Valley each a FREE composting kit, $150 value, which includes an Earth Machine 80-gallon outdoor composter, compost pail, compost aerator tool, and hand scale, in return for tracking their food waste for 9 weeks. Households and schools will all follow the same protocol for weighing and recording food waste that they divert to their composter.
Each Monday, a representative from each group will upload to the website their weekly total. By the end of the 9 weeks, the project will offer a good baseline for future actions. Participants will also receive a weekly waste reduction tip by email. Upon full completion of this project, including weekly reporting of food waste data, participants will receive a $60 Amazon gift certificate. Participants do not need prior knowledge of composting. The Earth Machine composters were selected for their simplicity and effectiveness.
The goals of this Community Action Project are to encourage ecological awareness, promote stewardship, and gather baseline data for future projects. Composting food scraps builds soil, retains carbon to promote positive environmental outcomes, and helps reduce landfill waste.
Municipalities across the nation are now encouraging citizen composting, but not everyone has the tools or know-how for getting started. “Once participants learn how easy it is to compost, diverting food and yard waste from our landfills, they will continue to improve soil health and water retention in both home and school gardens,” said CVC Executive Director, Courtney Carter Plaster.
Funding for the project comes from a competitive grant awarded by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The project runs from April to June, 2022. Interested parties in Roanoke and Botetourt County, City of Roanoke, City of Salem, and Town of Vinton may register for the project at: https://cleanvalley.org/resources/composting/