5:03pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

A Study in Compost

A crash course in composting is available this summer in Lexington.  The classes are increasingly popular. The idea is to, for instance, mix green vegetation, brown leaves, and cracked egg shells with potato skins.  The successful compost pile often features leaves, twigs, grass clippings and food scraps.  But, Recycling Program Specialist Esther Moberly  says only certain food scraps should find their way into the compost heap.

“Some of it could, like if it was steamed vegetables, or a piece of bread.  But, anything that has meat or a sauce, some kind of oil or grease or cheese, those kind of products shouldn’t go into your home composting system,” said Moberly.

A composting workshop is set for next Tuesday evening at the Lexington Arboretum.  Moberly says there are some food scraps which should go into a backyard compost heap, not into a landfill.

“But we did a waste study in Lexington in 2009 and we found that still up to 20 percent of what we were sending to the landfill was organic matter…either yard waste or food waste.  So this is one of the small pieces of the puzzle towards addressing that and encouraging people to handle it at home,” added Moberly.

Moberly says Lexington may one day expand  recycling to include food waste..

“Also for the city waste management division we are looking long term as ways we can help residents do that, so maybe in the future we’ll have a food waste program where we will collect with our yard waste.  More steps in that direction to go closer to zero waste,” said Moberly.

Moberly says the first three composting classes earlier this year attracted some 400 people.