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In the Spotlight

Monday, October 8, 2012

Free composting classes teach residents how to reduce waste at home

Residents can learn how to reduce the amount of waste they produce by attending Pierce County’s free composting classes this October and November. One class will focus on yard waste, and the second will focus on food waste.

"These classes are a great way to learn about the two kinds of composting,” said Mary Coleman, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities environmental educator. “Each class teaches tips and techniques to help you get started. You’ll learn from our experience, too. We’ll explain why you might want to keep pumpkin seeds out of your compost—I accidentally grew pumpkins in all of my raised beds this year!"

Yard waste composting
In the yard waste class, students will learn how to choose a bin, where to put it and how to maintain a healthy compost pile.

“By adding compost to your garden and landscaping, you can improve soil quality and eliminate the need for costly chemical fertilizers,” Coleman said.

Food waste composting
This class shows how composting with red worms reduces the amount of kitchen waste a family produces. Food waste composting is a great solution for people who live in apartments or have small yards. The compost produced by the worms works well in potted plants and small landscaped areas.

“Food makes up a third of the waste going to the landfill,” said Coleman. “One of the easiest and most economical ways to reduce our overall waste is for residents to compost their food waste at home.”

Food waste class attendees also have the option of purchasing a starter bin and worms for $30.

Yard Waste classes
        Oct. 11: 6 to 8 p.m., Washington State University (WSU) Puyallup, Victoria Room, 2607 W Pioneer in Puyallup
        Oct. 20: 10 a.m. to noon, Bonney Lake Fire Station, 18421 Old Buckley Highway in Bonney Lake
        Nov. 3: 10 a.m. to noon, Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St. W in University Place
Food Waste classes
        Oct. 23: 10 a.m. to noon, WSU Puyallup, Victoria Room
        Nov. 7: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Sehmel Homestead Park Pavilion, 10123 78th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor
        Nov. 15: 6 to 8 p.m., Bonney Lake Fire Station

Pre-registration is required. To register for a workshop, visit www.piercecountywa.org/compost or call (253) 798-2179. The classes are taught by environmental educators from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities.
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