Composting in the North

Nechako Green Team

Nechako Elementary
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
Video Project (1 video)

Community Coach(es): 

Kitimat Understanding The Environment

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Nechako Elementary started a Green Club last year with a focus on plastics recycling.   Then we noticed that a lot of food was being thrown in the garbage.  Mrs. Frater had the idea to start composting at school to help cut down food waste.  Our Green Club was able to buy two composters. We wanted to take our recycling program to the next level by including compost.  We think this is an important project as there will be less food waste in Kitimat’s landfill and we also help plants and trees with our compost.   

 When the school collects food for composting, there is less garbage to go in Kitimat’s landfill which is filling up.  Our school had a presentation from Kitimat Understanding the Environment (KUTE) about zero waste.  We learned from the presenter that a lot of our city garbage is compostable materials. The food waste in our landfill creates methane gas which adds to climate change. 

Students are compost collectors in the school lunchroom and they dump the compost in our bins outside. Different students from the Green Club take turns making sure things like fruits and vegetables go in the compost pail when students are throwing out their lunch garbage.  Students learned about composting at the beginning of the school year in Library class.  Composting is a year round project and we hope to be able to use compost that is ready for a new pollinator garden this spring.

Our group worried about where to put the two composters outside as they had to be close to the school.  We chose a place close to the lunchroom.  We also put them in a place where we thought animals like bears would be less attracted to go.  We used ice cream pails to collect peels, apple cores and other things for composting. These pails were put in the lunchroom and teacher staffroom.

Composting at Nechako has been challenging at times.  The top challenge is to teach kids about what to put in the compost pails.   They might put garbage, whole apples and perfectly good food in the pails and then we have to sort it.  They waste a lot of food.  Another one of our challenges is keeping the area around the compost bin clean.  The compost bins have been hard to get to because of the snow.  It is also challenging when the compost gets frozen in winter.   We found our compost bins got full really fast.

Composting is worth it in the long run.  It is better if we compost because then we won’t have as much garbage. The compost can be used for trees and planting. Next year, we hope to do even more composting by putting out food waste collectors on the playground.

Thank you for reading our submission to the Green Games. 


The Nechako Green Team