Get rid of your leftovers by feeding the compost bin

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Get rid of your leftovers by feeding the compost bin

Duffy

Duffy

Duffy

Environmental Club’s compost bin in the cafeteria, part of a larger effort to make New Trier greener

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In recent years, New Trier’s green push has manifested itself through eliminating the usage of plastic water bottles school wide. This year, it’s the composting program. You may have chuckled at their signs made from, you guessed it, recycled cardboard and paper. But beyond that, Environmental Club’s compost program has had a surprisingly significant impact.
Junior and head of Environmental Club, Andrew Katha, had the idea to start the club because at his old school, Katcha had set up a composting project to fulfill his Eagle Scout Project. “It helped me conceptualize a composting program at New Trier,” explained Katcha. “I thought that the time was right to bring environmental goals to New Trier. I knew that it was a project that could get done due to the support, assistance and potential that New Trier offered.”
The compost is collected in the lunchroom and taken to large bins that are located near the south side of the Gates Gym and near the organic garden. The compost then travels to an outside composting company where it is turned into nutrient rich soil.
The PPS faculty have been a helpful support system for the composting project. “They are the ones who take the compost from the cafeteria to the composting place every couple of days. They have really stood behind us and the efforts we are trying to make,” said Katcha. “Also, we couldn’t have done any of this without the help of Librarian Raquel Brennan, Environmental Club, Steve Linke and PPS staff, Principal Tim Dohrer, Food Service Manager Paul Wenger and ARAMARK and also the students who have participated in the composting project.”
In the first quarter alone, one composting machine has been filled and the second one is half-full. “Our goal was to fill up both composting machines and we are so close to doing that. We’d also like to buy more machines so as to match the rate of how much compost we are already receiving,” said Katcha.
Junior Ellie Sullivan is a big fan of the composting project at New Trier. “I’m very happy that we have gotten around to being greener at New Trier and I think composting is a great way to start.”
Nonetheless, critics exist. Maria Dabrowski, a junior, is content with New Trier’s composting, but she feels uninformed about the actual process. “I think it’s great that our school started composting, but I feel like it isn’t advertised in a great way,” said Dabrowski. Environmental Club has made a few announcements on the loud speaker and has put signs around the school, but Dabrowski thinks more advertising could be done. “I feel like it is a very disjointed endeavor. I haven’t met one person in Environmental Club and the fact that they make the signs on recycled material makes it seem like a little bit of a joke,” said Dabrowski.
When it comes to getting more students involved with the composting project, Dabrowski has an idea. “Maybe they could put composting bins all over school because if you don’t eat in the cafeteria, you’re not going to compost.”
Every Monday, Environmental Club meets in room 302 to talk about upcoming projects. “We want to strengthen our current recycling program. We would love to see more people contributing and helping our initiatives,” said Katcha.
Environmental Club is even recruiting New Trier News for their composting goal. In order for the material in the bins to decompose efficiently, it requires a carbon item, such as newspaper. They have asked the New Trier News for extra newspapers after each edition.
For this program to be successful, Environmental Club believes a school-wide effort will be necessary. “New Trier is such a big school with an active student body. I really think that if we try hard enough, we can make a small difference and be one step closer to becoming more of a green school,” said Sullivan.

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