New York City’s school composting program, kicked off just two years ago by parents on the Upper West Side, is now in 230 school buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island, and is expected to more than double in size and reach all five boroughs in the fall, with an ultimate goal of encompassing all 1,300-plus school buildings.
Depending on where the school is, the uneaten and half-eaten leftovers are sent to a compost heap at a former Staten Island landfill or to upstate New York or Delaware, where the slop is churned into nutrient-enriched dirt that farmers or landscape architects can buy. Eventually, the city will send some scraps to a wastewater treatment plant in Brooklyn, where “digesters” turn garbage into usable gas.
“There’s a lot of carbon in that banana that’s going to end up growing something else in your garden at home,” John T. Shea, the chief of the Education Department’s school facilities, said. “It’s the circle of life, baby.”The hope is that by building up composting in school, the city will help the environment, instill a sense of conservation in schoolchildren and, critically, save some money. The city paid $93 per ton in 2013 to dump in landfills, up from $68 in 2004. Composting saves the city $10 to $50 per ton, because the cost is offset by the sale of the end product, according to the Sanitation Department.
I think this program is great and I would like to see the DOE expand the program beyond food to other scraps and waste that nobody wants - like the Danielson rubric, the Common Core Core State (sic) Standards and the EngageNY modules.
Throw them all onto the compost pile with the rotting tomatoes and bananas where they belong.
As the year goes by and more and more parents turn against these kinds of corporate education reforms, we're getting closer to seeing them end up on the compost pile.