project leader
Aleksandra M
33 Riversville Road
(Glenville and downtown Greenwich)
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Almost halfway there to one composter!

the project

Composting at school involves several steps and individuals. It is a team effort allowing full participation of each students. Once lunch is over students select leftover fruit and vegetable scraps from their plates and dispose them off to the compost bucket.  Compost bucket is emptied into an outdoor composter. Once the scraps from the cafeteria are dropped off to the outdoor bin the content is covered with a layer of leaves. Layering allows for greens (nitrogen rich scraps) to have a good contact with browns (carbon reach fall leaves). Proper mix of browns and greens expedite breaking down of organic material which is done by the decomposing organisms, mostly microbes. Covering the scraps also keeps the rodents away and improves site aesthetics.

Composting at schools starts with construction and installation of a large 18’ long, 6’ wide, and 5’ tall composter which is divided into three compartments. Currently 11 public and private schools in Greenwich compost. Recent study performed at Hamilton Avenue School in Greenwich demonstrated more than 50% wastes can be diverted by recycling, composting, and liquid separation. This year, schools are working on standardizing their waste stations and compost is one of the four bins for each cafeteria setting. Glenville and Julian Curtiss Schools are one of not many left without the opportunity to compost.

The effort to raise the funds to purchase the material will help both schools to reach their sustainability goal and cut on waste. This project is a public private partnership. The Department of Parks and Recreation of the Town of Greenwich will provide the labor which will matched 50% or the project value. Glenville and Julian Curtis School are fortune to have a well trained volunteers and personal which  with support of the Conservation Commission and Green School Committee will bring the compost program to school. The new compost program will be celebrated at the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Earth Day.

the steps

As soon as the funds are available the team consisting of Green School Committee representative, Conservation Commission Staff, teachers and Parks and Recreation will:

Photo: Compost bucket at Riverside School, Greenwich

  1. Purchase the material from the local Ring’s End (January)
  2. Parks and Recreation Marine Division will construct the bin (January- February)
  3. Parks and Recreation will install the bin at both schools (March or earlier when the ground is non frozen)
  4. Two out of three compartments will be filled with fall leaves or other available brown material (Parks and Recreation) (April)
  5. Conservation Commission staff with trained Master Composter and Green School representatives will provide an educational program in cafeterias on how to sort wastes and why to compost (EARTH DAY – April 22)

Photo: Compost Collection bucket, Old Greenwich School, Greenwich

  1. A group of students will be designated to take the cafeteria scraps to the outdoor composter daily.  
  2. Outdoor compost will be checked and managed weekly by volunteers from the local high school
  3. Once the school year is over, the compost will be maintained through the summer by volunteers and/or conservation commission staff.
  4. At the end of August ready compost will be moved to the vegetable garden to benefit the soil
  5. Empty composter will be refilled with leaves and wait for the new collection of fruit and vegetable scraps from each cafeteria. 

 Photo: Riverside School, Greenwich Photo: Hamilton Avenue School vegetable garden  Photo: New Lebanon School vegetable garden

  Photo: Commuity Gardens, Armstrong Court 

why we're doing it

Composting is an activity which bring the school community together. From kindergarten age through high school, everyone can get engage. Composting taches respect to food and mother earth, helps grow food in vegetable gardens all students can enjoy. It closes the loop and helps student to understand how plant grow and if not fully eaten they rot to return the nutrients back to the soil. Composting is educational, but also supports and develops skills such as sorting, taking care of scraps when a bucket is full in cafeteria, managing compost, working in a garden, etc. It  teaches responsibility and makes student aware of wastes. Encourage them to decrease waste generation, but if not possible how to recycle as much of it as possible.


Guiding Principles:

1. Resources recovered: Waste is reduced; food scraps and other organic

materials are diverted from disposal and composted.

2. Locally based and closed loop: Organic materials are a community

school, and are generated and recycled into compost within the same

school community.

3. Organic materials returned to soils: Compost is used to enhance local

soils, support local food production, and conserve natural ecology by

improving soil structure and maintaining nutrients, carbon, and soil


4. Community-scaled and diverse: Composting infrastructure is diverse,

distributed, and sustainable; systems are scaled to meet the needs of a

self-defined community.

5. Community engaged, empowered, and educated: Compost

programming engages and educates the students in food systems

thinking, resource stewardship, or school sustainability, while

providing solutions that empower students

to capture organic waste and retain it as a community resource.

6. Community supported: Aligns with school goals (such as healthy

soils and healthy people) and is supported by the students it serves.

The reverse is true too. A school composting program supports

schools social, economic, and environmental well-being.


Raises Awareness

• Exposes students to the concept of source-separation of food scraps

• Educates children about composting, how it is done, and

how it can be incorporated into everyday life

• Creates advocates and the necessary leadership for changes in policies, laws, and


• Prepares the next generation for full-scale composting as part of our way of life

Environmental Benefits

• Creates a rich nutrient-filled soil amendment

• Enhances soil fertility

• Improves soil structure, thus reducing storm water runoff and soil erosion

• Substitutes for energy-intensive fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides

• Improves plant growth, and thus carbon sequestration

• Reduces waste

• Protects the climate by cutting landfill methane emissions and creating a carbon

sink in soils

• Reduces vehicle emissions by decreasing transportation distances between

material generators and compost producers and users

Community Benefits

• Allows for a school operation

• Builds the culture and know-how of composting in school

• Keeps resources and money changing hands within the school

• Builds healthier soils

• Promotes human-scale technology, instead of large capital intensive systems

• Supports locally-grown, healthy food production, and “closed-loop” systems


Disbursement Budget:

cedar boards $1928

cedar posts $552

chicken wire $164

heavy duty hinges $336

stainless steel screws $120

tools $62.31

t​otal: $3162.31

TOTAL RAISED = $3,246.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $48.69

Original Budget:

cedar boards $1928
cedar posts $552
chicken wire $164
heavy duty hinges $336
stainless steel screws $120
total: $3100

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $48


Almost halfway there to one composter!

We are nearly halfway there for ONE composter! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to this project and for helping to reduce waste in Greenwich schools!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Nicole J.
  • Anonymous
  • Josh Fields
  • Barb Drayer
  • Maria Carosella
  • Anonymous
  • Juliette M.
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  • Lucy von Brachel
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  • Myra K.
  • Pascale Sejean
  • Monica G.
  • Tierney Family
  • Salomon Family
  • Anonymous
  • Steven Nguyen on Behalf of JC
  • Suzi Donahue
  • Coco Tully
  • Elmarita P.
  • Elizabeth Z.
  • Coccaro Family
  • NOConnor
  • Angela Baez
  • Alina Leonova
  • Allison S.
  • U S
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  • Gwen B.
  • alexander weindling
  • Julie DesChamps