Residents interested in composting can participate in a new set of classes next month designed to teach the basics.
Called nature’s way to recycle, composting uses food scraps from your kitchen and dry materials from your yard to produce natural degrading. UCDD Solid Waste Planner Lisa Luck said composting helps extend the life of local landfills.
“Every year there is more waste that goes to the landfill, and that’s why right now it is a crucial time for more people to compost,” Luck said. “We need to reduce our costs. We need to reduce the organic waste that goes to the landfills. We have limited landfill space in Tennessee, and right now it’s fairly inexpensive to manage waste. But once those landfills are full and we’re having to cross county lines or truck it across the country, we have no idea what will happen with it.”
Luck said the average person generates about 2,000 pound of trash annually. Composting can reduce that number by half.
Classes will show you the specifics of what can be composted and what should not. The class will also show you the specifics of how to create a composting bin.
“And we also troubleshoot any problems, so if you already have a compost pile and you are having trouble with it, then you can attend this class and figure out what to do about it,” Luck said.
Composting begins with oxygen, Luck said, and water is also critical.
“And you just have a balance of too much water or not enough water,” Luck said. “And so we teach how to regulate and how to tell about how much water to have. So it’s so easy to compost. And we enjoy teaching people how to do it. It’s so fun for the kids and even adults. I mean, to see some of the things that grow out of your compost pile, it’s just thrilling every spring to see what’s going on out there.”
Luck said past classes have shown that people do want to compost and want to understand how it works.
“I think it’s just that they are paying attention to the environment,” Luck said. “They don’t want to be a drain on the community. They want to make things better. And when you compost, that really helps the county, because it reduces the amount of money that the county spends to manage waste, because you were doing part of it at home. But the main benefit that it has is that it reduces methane gas emissions. Landfills are the third leading cause of methane emission, and it’s because of the food waste and organic waste that go into the landfill. It’s just not the right place for that to be.”
The new classes begin in March. You can call 261-7841 to reserve a spot.