• Third Graders Travel to Agromin to Learn About Green Waste Recycling - Monday, April 27, 2009 at

  • Third graders from La Mariposa Elementary School in Camarillo traveled to Agromin's Oxnard green materials recycling and composting facility to learn how yard waste is made into compost.

    Dave Green, Agromin's vice-president of marketing, took more than 100 schoolchildren on tours over a three-day period. "Kids got to see firsthand how green waste goes from lawn clippings, tree trimmings and leaves to compost--ready to use in their backyard gardens," says Green.

    The facility processes more than 400,000 pounds of green waste every day. The material is cleaned of any non-green materials, chopped and laid out in composting rows. The material is turned and watered until microorganisms "compost" the materials into rich, organic soil. "The children were amazed how much green material goes through the facility every day and how much green waste we generate," says Julie Hughes a third grade teacher at La Mariposa Elementary School. "When they saw how much trash that people throw in their green recycling barrels they realized that their families must be more careful not to put plastics and other items in the barrel--only greens."

    When the children returned to school after the field trip, Master Gardeners' members spoke to the kids about how families can compost at home. "The kids saw composting on a massive scale at Agromin and then learned how they could do it themselves," says Hughes. "The day tied in nicely with Earth Week."

    Third grader Cameron Welty was particularly fascinated with the huge machines that grind the green material and the steam that comes from the composting piles. "He didn't care much for the smell that comes from the piles, but understood it's part of the process," says his mother Kristen Welty.

    Agromin receives more than 300,000 tons of green waste each year from throughout Southern California including Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. It is processed at five Agromin composting facilities. Agromin's compost is spread onto farmland, mixed into city, school and business landscapes and into consumers' backyards. It is one of the largest green recyclers in California. The U.S. Composting Council named it "Composter of the Year" and Agromin was recently named co-winner of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors' "Climate Change Action Award," sharing the honors with Limoneira Company in the Agricultural Industry category.

    "Through these field trips, we're hoping to teach kids early that green waste recycling is just another part of how we should live our lives," says Green. "And by reusing materials instead of putting them in landfills, we can help create a more sustainable planet."

    For more information about green materials recycling, go to www.agromin.com.

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