Compost at Chaminade: A New Senior Service Initiative


For our senior service project this year, my partner Frank Harrer and I had a fairly lofty goal—to
start a brand new composting program at Chaminade High School. For those of you who are not
completely sure of what composting is, it is the process by which organic waste (such as many kinds of
food scraps) are broken down into the most basic organic, nutrient rich material. By composting this
material we can greatly reduce the amount of waste we send to already massive landfills because these
nutrient rich materials are good for the environment by being an effective fertilizer. So, for the past
semester, the two of us have been fundraising online and in person with a goal of $500, which would be
enough to purchase one 160 gallon compost bin and ten trash cans for the cafeteria to be used
specifically to collect compost. We far surpassed our goal, reaching $775, but as we get closer to the
time when the compost system will be implemented we wanted to let the student body know how they
can be a part of this new program. Pretty soon, students will begin to see new bins labeled for compost
in the cafeteria, and this is the only way we need your help, simply put your compostables in those bins
as opposed to the trash bins. It is that easy. The main thing that we need students to understand then is
what is compostable. First off, the bins will have small signs on their sides giving general guidelines and
visual images of what and cannot be composted. If you are ever in doubt, you can just look to the sign.
However, we felt that putting a more inclusive list here would allow people to know more about what is
compostable before they have to do it themselves. As a rule of thumb, anything that was once alive can
be composted, so long as it is not meat or is not terribly greasy. Such items include vegetables and fruit,
paper (such as napkins), anything made out of flour (breads, pastas, etc.), cardboard, and tofu. On the
other hand, meats, plastics, dairy products, or anything greasy or oily will actually slow down the
process and should not be composted. All-in-all it is amazing for us to see our hard work make our
dream come true and the last thing we need for this actually happen is YOU! So please make an effort to
compost in the cafeteria during break and lunch, it is as simple as throwing your trash in right the trash
can, but makes a big difference for the environment. So join us in composting here at Chaminade
starting in a few weeks. If we all do our part and follow these easy steps then our school can be on our
way to being greener than ever!