Students and staff at Ballard High School are planning to start a composting program in which all biodegradable food waste from our lunchroom will be collected and composted in cooperation with Cedar Grove Composting. This change would greatly reduce the amount of waste that Ballard High School sends to the landfill; instead turning it into fertilizer.
Once Ballard High School is composting, the amount of waste that is sent to the land fill and the money spent disposing of it will be greatly reduced. Funds formally used for garbage can then be used for the costs of composting. For this reason, our project will become self sufficient once it is started.
The entire population of Ballard High School, approximately 1,700 students and staff, will daily be participating in this program. Daily operation will also give members of the Ballard community and students, such as myself, the opportunity to volunteer their time. Many volunteers will be invited and necessary to allow the program to continue. Members of the Ballard community (both staff and students) will be invited to assist in the daily monitoring for contamination in the compost receptacles.
The goals of our composting program at Ballard High School are to:
• Greatly reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfills as a whole
• Educate the students, staff, and greater community about the impact that each individual has on the environment, and simple things they can do to decrease that impact.
• Show that the cost of composting is equal to or less than that of the present garbage disposal.
• Make sure the compost is not contaminated by more than 10%,
• Obtain on-going support from Ballard High School students, staff, and community
It is true that compost is still a form of waste, but by increasing student and community awareness of this waste we will hopefully be able to reduce the overall production of it as well.
The leaders of this project are myself; Kiara Eldred, Lena Hart-Bundy (ESC Vice President), and McKenzie Zajonc. I am a senior at Ballard High School and the ESC President. I am writing grant applications to help start our composting program, organizing education for students about composting, and researching and procuring budget and material needs. Mr. Noam Gundle, the Earth Service Corps club facilitator at Ballard High School, will assist me in submitting reports and ensuring the project is meeting its goals. McKenzie Zajonc, Downtown YMCA Earth Service Corps representative will also ensure the project meets its goals by assisting with club recruitment, school awareness, student involvement, and act as main liaison between Ballard High School and the YMCA Earth Service Corps regional headquarters.
Composting at Ballard High School will address sustainability practices within our school and community and encourages others to make responsible, sustainable choices in their daily lives. To implement this program within Ballard High School we will need to educate all students and staff on what items are and are not biodegradable. We will also encourage staff and students to reduce their over all waste, and live in a more sustainable way. Composting at Ballard High School will address and change the current waste disposal practices of our school to more sustainable, responsible disposal system. It is our hope that we will not only be able to make a smaller ecological impact on our community, but be a positive example to large and small schools across Seattle, as we will be the first comprehensive high school in the Seattle Public Schools District to compost on a large scale.
We will know our project is a success when we can show that the cost of composting is equal to or less than that of the present garbage disposal, the compost is not contaminated by more than 10%, and we have on-going support from Ballard High School students, staff, and community. When all these goals are meet, the program will be completely self sufficient, and rely on no outside funding.