Check it out! Composting in NYC School District from Earth911.com

A pilot composting program in NYC school districts cuts food waste by 85 percent!

The move reduced the eight pilot schools’ cafeteria waste by an astounding 85 percent. That number benefits the environment and the district, saving 450 pounds of food waste from landfills each day and saving an estimated $3,000 in garbage bags and $3,700 in disposal fees for the pilot schools each year.

If they can get students to learn about composting, imagine the possibilities in work environments.

Setting up our Worm Bins

We set up our worm bin last weekend. It was a lot of fun.

First we covered the holes at the bottom with some mesh and duck tape to prevent any escape worms.  worm bin holes1

Then we went ahead and added some frozen food scraps as well as the worms. We threw newspaper on top of the food scraps. The newspaper acts as the dry material, allowing optimization of the required carbon to nitrogen ratio. When we use it to cover the food scraps, it helps contain moisture and provide a comfortable living environment for the worms.
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We had some helpers hold the worms up so you can see them closer. These are Eisenia fetid, red worms used specifically for composting.
worms

Happy composting!
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Storing Food Scraps

Have you wondered how to keep your food-scraps at home before you bring them over to the compost drop-off?

I have polled our fellow composters. The consensus is a sturdy vessel that you can keep in your fridge or freezer and easily carry to the drop-off and the re-use when you bring it home. Keeping them cold minimizes any odors, especially if you plan on storing food scraps for a while in an un-airconditioned apartment before brining them to the bins. For people composting indoors, freezing any fruit peels kills off any fruit fly eggs, reducing any fly problems that may arise.

This is where I store my food scraps, in the freezer and easily labeled for the rest of the family.

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Ainhoa likes to re-use one of the take-out containers. Much more eco-friendly.

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Neeman uses a regular container.

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And so does Angela.
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And of course, you can always just put it all in a plastic bag and dump the contents out at the tumblers.

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Do you do it another way? I know some of you store your scraps in milk cartons in your freezer. Send me your pictures and I’ll update our flickr set!

~ Carolina

Hello world!

Welcome to our composting website! We are super excited to start talking about composting and provide basic information about our program.

Hope you’ll join us in our endeavor to remove food-waste from landfills and instead make some really awesome fertilizer.

We are currently composting at a very small scale in order to increase awareness in our community in the upper east side campuses of Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell, and Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Please join us if you are in the area by emailing us at compostues at gmail dot com.

About CompostUES

We are a volunteer-run composting program for the Tri-Institutional community of Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Weill Cornell interested in (a) decreasing the amount of organic waste going to landfills and (b) teaching our community about composting.

Please check out our composting basics, as well as our list of items that can and cannot be composted using our system.

For further updates, check back here, updates are posted below in reverse chronological order.

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Feel free to contact us at CompostUES at Gmail dot com.