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450 -1000 years plastic bags to break down. Plastic in the marine environment never fully degrades. "plastic dust," ingested filter feeding marine animals. dust bio-toxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) plastic dust accumulates, are passed up the food chain to


It takes 450 -1000 years for plastic bags to break down. Plastic in the marine environment never fully degrades. The end product of the break down, "plastic dust," is ingested by filter feeding marine animals. The dust and the bio-toxins, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that the plastic dust accumulates, are passed up the food chain to fish and humans. -Marine Conservation Society of the UK

fish and humans. 1







Municipal Solid Waste: made up of the things we commonly use and then throw away. Packaging food scraps grass clippings tires



Clean, biodegradable materials that take up excess space in a landfill. These materials also generate methane gas and acidic leachate naturally as they decompose. “Methane is a colorless, explosive GREENHOUSE GAS that is released as bacteria decompose organic materials in landfills.” If not controlled, methane can seep underground and into nearby buildings, where it could potentially explode. “Yard wastes also contribute acidity that can make other waste constituents more mobile and therefore MORE TOXIC.” 2

132 million tons of MSW (53.4%)

About were discarded in landfills in 2009.





Cereal juice milk crackers blueberry muffin jelly Bagel cheese stick pizza noodles chicken fish nuggets cheeseburger on bun whole kernel corn pears French toast sticks turkey sausage patties mini sub sandwich potato starz Apple sauce Beefy cheese nachos toasted cheese sandwich california blend veggies turkey hot dog on bun ravioli pineapples Tyson chicken nuggets BBQ sauce Sloppy joe mixed vegetables mandarin oranges Chili cheese Fritos Turkey ham & cheese on bun peaches Hamburger on bun BBQ Rib on bun fruit Chicken patty on bun Scrambled Egg sausage patty biscuit mini sub chicken pot pie w/ biscuit Pancakes turkey ranch wrap bread stick applesauce Mac & cheese Country Fried steak w/ gravy Turkey hot dog on bun BBQ riblet on bun chicken salad on bun French toast turkey wrap beefy nachos fish on bun coleslaw southwest chicken on bun celery vegetable dip french toast southwest chicken on bun newspapers used matches wrapping paper rolls paper table cloths crepe paper streamers latex balloons jack o’ lanterns holiday wreaths grass leaves soil trash can materials chicken quesadilla sour cream BBQ rib on bun sausage potato starz bean salad chef salad crunchy beef tacos chicken nuggets mashed potatoes & gravy deli sandwiches

sausage Mini Sub Chicken nuggets BBQ Beef on bun baked beans Beef soft shelled taco Deli turkey & cheese on bun tomato soup Turkey corn dog Italian dinner w/meat sauce fruit & grain bar biscuits & turkey sausage gravy crackers sausage patty blueberry muffin jelly biscuit sausage pancake wrap yogurt Bacon biscuit sausage syrup Bagel ½ w/ jelly egg & sausage wrap bacon sausage & cheese biscuit jumbo waffle cheese biscuit sausage patty & cheese on biscuit bagel ½ w/ jelly cauliflower Sweet & sour chicken over rice french fries polish sausage & kraut carrots salisbury steak & mushroom gravy Beef taco soft shell salsa refried beans bacon cheeseburger peas broccoli Spaghetti w/ meat sauce breadstick chili cheese dog chicken parmesan w/ pasta california blend french toast turkey sausage patty hot cinnamon apple BBQ Rib on bun Country fried beef steak bread slice bread sticks w/ meat sauce green beans stuffing ham & cheese on bun sausage patty chicken patty baked potato bar cheese chicken cordon bleu paper towel rolls pencil shavings used paper napkins coffee grounds tea bags coffee filters pizza boxes paper bages crumbs swept off floor used paper plates cellophane bages nut shells paper egg cartons toothpicks paper cupcake or muffin cups toilet paper rolls shredded paper envelopes sticky notes business cards receipts contents of vacuum cleaner bag

*Food was the second highest contributor to MSW waste generation in 2009 yet it displays the LEAST amount of recovery.

Generation andand recovery of materials in MSW, 20092009 Generation recovery of materials in MSW, 80 70 60

Millions of tons


weight generated Column B Column C weight recovered

40 30 20 10 0 10

Yard trimmings


Food, other


Other materials

millions of tons






Rubber and Leather










includes recovery of other MSW organics for composting.

School locations within Champaign-Urbana

Case Study - Mansfield, CT Case Study Fall 2000 When applied to C-U: initiated a school-wide composting program at their school of 650 5th-8th graders. Over the course of one year, 4,168 lbs of food scraps mixed with 3-4 cubic yards of wood chips and leaves produced 1.5 cubic yards of compost.

Prairie Elementary

Thomas Paine Washington


Leal Urbana Middle


Urbana High



Yankee Ridge


Garden Hills

Central Dr. Howard

Edison South Side

Westview Bottenfield Centennial


Carrie Busey


all schools



TOTAL 85,783 pounds


all high schools


Amount of ORGANIC waste generated per year/per school in Champaign-Urbana High School Middle School Elementary School


all middle schools

7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000


Garden Hills



Dr. Howard Franklin Jefferson

Central Robeson Stratton


South Side

Carrie Busey

Washington Edison

MLK JR. Bottenfield Barkstall


Urbana High

Urbana Middle


Yankee Ridge

Prairie Elementary

Thomas Paine

1000 0

pounds (lbs)


all elementary schools

= 85,783 pounds of excess waste in a landfill

9 4


= 30.87 cubic yards compost

5 2


2 Brickyard Disposal-Danville 4 ERC/Coles County Landfill-Charleston 5 Illinois Landfill-Hoopeston 9 Livingston Landfill-Pontiac

1 Cubic Yard

Compost enriches soils “The composting process encourages the production of beneficial micro-organisms (mainly bacteria and fungi) which in turn break down organic matter to create humus. Humus--a rich nutrient-filled material--increases the nutrient content in soils and helps soils retain moisture. Compost has also been shown to suppress plant diseases and pests, reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers, and promote higher yields of agricultural crops.” Compost helps cleanup “The composting process has been shown to absorb odors and treat semivolatile and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including heating fuels, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and (remediate) contaminated soil explosives. It has also been shown to bind heavy metals and prevent them from migrating to water resources or being absorbed by plants. The compost process degrades and, in some cases, completely eliminates wood preservatives, pesticides, and both chlorinated and nonchlorinated hydrocarbons in contaminated soils.” Compost helps “Composting organic materials that have been diverted from landfills ultimately avoids the production of methane and leachate formulation in the landfills. Compost has the ability to prevent prevent pollution pollutants in stormwater runoff from reaching surface water resources. Compost has also been shown to prevent erosion and silting on embankments parallel to creeks, lakes, and rivers, and prevents erosion and turf loss on roadsides, hillsides, playing fields, and golf courses.” Using compost offers “Using compost can reduce the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides. It serves as a marketable commodity and is a low-cost alternative to standard landfill cover and artificial soil economic benefits amendments. Composting also extends municipal landfill life by diverting organic materials from landfills and provides a less costly alternative to conventional methods of 6 remediating (cleaning) contaminated soil.”

Related coursework: Students learn Business valuable life skills, stay Math active, and get to experience Science an outdoor classroom Social Science where they see what their Art efforts are able to create. Horticulture

1. Sell compost generated by schools to the public Appeal to: Apartment dwellers who are unable to have their own composting systen Parents of students who’s children are involved in the program General public who lives in surrounding area or who wants to support CUSF

85,783 lbs compost/50 lb bag = 1716 total bags Costly composting alternatives: per year

X $4/bag= $6,864/year


generated from the sale of compost by C-U schools

Year 1: Implement student composting program/ sell compost Year 2: Use money generated from sales to begin implementation of a school garden. Year 3: Continue to use money from sales for the maintenance/further construction of garden as well as production of marketing and compost sales materials

Top Soil



Wheatfield Park

0.3 455613.02 sf - Turf 31800.91 sf - Structure

mi le w

alk in




Yankee Ridge Elementary School Total area: 601067.7803 sf 336 students 2154.54 lbs

In most cases, there is enough room on school grounds for a school garden. However, many schools are located within walking distance to nearby parks. This could be another alternative and opportunity is space becomes an issue.

2. Use compost for on or off-site school gardening

“School gardens are a powerful tool for promoting science education, engaging students in healthy behaviors, and fostering a connection to nature. A living laboratory for studying soil, bugs, and plant growth, gardens also teach lessons in teamwork, responsibility, and the results of careful nurture. Time spent working in a school garden fosters positive associations with physical activity and healthy eating. Incorporating green spaces into school grounds creates habitat for wildlife, reduces the need for costly field trips, and awakens a sense of curiosity and exploration among students.” School Garden Project of Lane County 7

3. Biofuel Heating with Compost

Challenge (high school) students to design their own system

Bringing the DIY culture into the realm of school-real, hands-on learning that encourages students to develop innovative and creative Greenhouse Heating


“The composting greenhouse is a commercial quonset-type plastic glazed greenhouse containing a compost reaction chamber, with 10 loading bays opened from the north side and covered by removable insulated panels. Electric blowers force air up through the compost in the 25-cubic-yard chamber, speeding decomposition and eliminating the need for turning the compost. The bacterially-generated heat turns water in the compost to vapor, which holds the latent energy required to turn liquid to gas. When heat or carbon dioxide is needed inside the greenhouse, exhaust gases from the composting chamber are blown through perforated plastic subterranean ductwork into the growing beds. Here the water vapor condenses on the cooler pipe surfaces and soil of the biofilter, releasing latent heat stored in the molecules of water and heating the root zone of the plants growing in the biofilter. ”

Water Heating “[Jean Pain] heats water in a compost pile built from underbruch, and produces methane in a digester fed a similar material. The resulting energy heats his home and fuels his appliances. This machine shreds the underbrush to ready it for composting.”

10 13 11

Jean Pain

Comploo “Large specially shaped hoppers are arranged in a ring, forming the enclosure. The space within is capped with a transparent ETFE dome that admits daylight. Garden waste, food scraps or other compostable materials are inserted through a door at the top of each bin. Air is circulated through sealed ducts that pass from bin to bin. As the air circulates within the walls, it is warmed by the decaying compost. A central vent emits the warm air in the interior. Occupants sit upon a circular bench surrounding the heat source.” Design by: Bakoko

References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. solutions to real-world problems 8. 9. 10. Space Heating The-Genius-of-Jean-Pain.aspx 11. “The relatively small device described here (roughly the size 12. of an upright piano and weighing (original) empty around 140 pounds) (and 13. with all construction instructions included below) is around 5 feet in 14. diameter and 2 feet thick. It can heat-free-nearly-with-a-compost-furnace/ easily create the continuous 15.



“Our household of 2 adults and three children obtained all our household hot water from a composting greenhouse we constructed in Portland, Oregon in 1994. It provided hot water at a temperature of 90-130 degrees (Fahrenheit) continuously until it was dismantled 18 months later. We used the space to grow several species of mushrooms and to house plants from our garden during winter. The greenhouse design was similar to inexpensive "tube" greenhouses. Outer dimensions were 16x30 feet. The foundation walls consisted of 3 courses of rye grass straw bales pinned together with 1/2 inch steel rebar. Bale size was 2 feet x 2 feet x 4 feet, giving two-foot thick walls along the base.”

Use compost to remediate turf grasses (football, soccer fields) on school grounds Providing safe, uniform playing surfaces for recreational activites, such as golf, football, soccer, and other field sports, requires intensive tuf management. Recreational turf grasses are subjected to extensive wear and tear, making them difficult to manage and highly susceptible to turf diseases, pests, and soil compaction. To address these problems, turf managers traditionally use a combination of fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and aeration techniques that usually result in high costs and potential for negative environmental impacts. Some turf managers are now using compost to replace peat moss in their topdressing applications based on its proven success in suppressing plant disease. Compost, when properly formulated, unlike peat moss, is teeming with nutrients and micro-organisms that stimulate turf establishment and increase its resistance to common turf diseases, such as snow mold, brown patch, and dollar spot.

1340 Students 8529.49 lbs compost


45,000 Btus per hour of constant heating that a medium-sized home in a cold climate like Chicago needs in January or February, and has shown that it can easily produce twice that amount of heat, or over 90,000 Btus of hour.”

Mix a big pile of carbon and nitrogen organic materials (shredded brush or brown leaves and green grass for example) in the proper proportion (about 30:1), add water until it has the consistency of a damp sponge (about 45~55% moisture content), keep it aerated so the bacteria can breathe, put some garden hose into the pile and run it into the house where it will connect to a radiator (like the one in your car) then back to the pile. A pump circulates water through the hose and radiator, and as the pile heats up the water, the water heats up the radiator and a fan moves air through the radiator to transfer the heat into the room!



998 Students 6399.48 lbs compost

After 3 years of using compost as a topdressing, the County Club of Rochester, New York, has nearly eliminated the need for fungicide applications for such diseases. 15

Turf on school grounds-CU

4. Remediation

Composting in schools  
Composting in schools  

Research project and case study based on the potentials of a composting program in schools.