Contributed by Laris Pender-Healy

There is a joint effort by the Middle and Upper School students to incorporate composting as a new waste management stream for MVPS.

Currently, we only divert compostable waste from the kitchen of both campuses. The goal is to include the front of the house (student generated waste) for both campuses by the end of 2019. The first step is to determine how much compostable waste Middle and Upper School students produce in a week, called a waste audit. This information will tell us how many compost waste bins we need and how much food we will be diverting from landfills.

We are working with a community leader in composting, CompostNow GA, to collect our food waste and turn it into compost off-site. 
It is important to start including the MV community in this sustainability initiative. Upper School and Middle School students will be conducting a waste audit during lunch toward the end of March and will report out to the community as they continue their ongoing sustainability initiative.

Where are you keeping your compost?

  • We are not composting our food waste on site at MVPS. Instead, we have partnered with Compost Now GA to pick up our waste on a weekly basis and compost at their facility. We have the option to retrieve compost from the company, but currently, we do not use it in our school gardens. We are considering the use of compost in our two Lower School gardens for next year.

What is the goal for this project?

  • Our main goal is to engage MV students as stewards of our natural world. We want them to take an active role in diverting their waste from landfills and know that the simple act of throwing away their waste in the correct receptacle leaves a lasting positive impact on our environment.

Who, specifically, is involved?

  • Junior Katieanne Peterson is spearheading the effort in the Upper School with the other prefects. She has enlisted the Middle School prefects to help out with the grades 5-8 portion. CFOO Chris Winslow and I are managing all sustainability projects.

How can our MV Community support this effort?

  • Living sustainably requires a conscious effort to make different, better decisions. We hope that our actions at MVPS might permeate into the homes of our students, and their families would consider diverting their home waste away from landfills and into recycling centers and local areas. Continued reinforcement will help make this change more sustainable.

Final thoughts?

  • This is an exciting venture for Mount Vernon! Katieanne has been diligently planning our first waste audit and we cannot wait to hear back from Compost Now GA on how much food waste we diverted from landfills.
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