Compost: A Work in Progress

A Lake Region teacher helps the school stay in compliance with mandatory composting law in Vermont as other systems in the past have been left behind. Composting is mandatory in Vermont; it became mandatory on July 1st 2020. A few years ago at Lake Region the Green Team, a club focused on sustainability, obtained a compost tumbler from the Highfield Center for composting through a grant. Students at the time were handling the compost. It continued to be used everyday for 2-3 years according to Mr. Waring, a former science teacher who was involved in the process of getting the tumbler. Each person interviewed has a different reason as to why it stopped being used: the tumbler itself malfunctioned, it filled up, people stopped putting effort into it. Either way, students went to Mr. Veysey, an English teacher at Lake Region who agreed to take it to his farm animals and compost piles and has been doing it since. The daily compost generated by the school is about five gallons per school day including pre and post consumer food waste. Mr. Veysey continues to dispose of the compost because he believes that as an institution such as a school should be composting its waste and these efforts help the compost to not go into the school’s dumpster. Technically this way of handling food waste is not encouraged. However, if the school stopped giving the compost directly to Mr. Veysey, Lake Region would be less in compliance with the 2020 State composting law. At Lake Region there is not a clear composting plan for the future and any plans that might have been in place could have been paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be continued efforts to manage the school’s compost and it is something that has to be continuously worked on.