Second graders from EARTHS Magnet
School in Newbury Park made a recent visit to Agromin to learn how green waste
is transformed into compost. Agromin is the organics recycler for cities in
Ventura County and other California cities.
About 80 EARTHS students, parents and teachers visited
Agromin's 24-acre Oxnard facility. Dave Green, Agromin's vice president of
sales and marketing, gave the tour and was peppered with questions from students
including "Are there bugs in the soil?" (yes, microbes), "Why are the piles of
soil hot?" (a sign that microbes are eating away at organic material and
turning it into compost) and "Do you use chemicals in your compost?" (no, only
leaves, grass clippings, wood and other green materials). Students were
relieved to learn that Agromin does not add sludge or animal waste to the mix.
To demonstrate how composting works, Green measured the
temperature of a composting pile, telling students that composting begins at
122 degrees. The temperature inside the pile was 130 degrees. "Heat shows that
the microbes are doing their job," explained Green. "As they decompose the
material, they are sterilizing the soil so it is free from bacteria. Agromin
speeds up Mother Nature. It can take hundreds of years to create an inch of
topsoil. We can do it in about 90 days."
The students were then shown how compost is packaged in bags
for sale at such stores as Home Depot, Walmart, the 99 Cents Only Store and
Target under a variety of brand names. The processing machinery can fill a 27-pound
bag of compost in seven seconds.
entire composting process left an impression on the students. "I like that they
don't use poop in their soil," says Lukas Cox, age eight. "It was also neat the
way they put the soil in the bags."
environmental science and technology into its curriculum. According to Cathy
Lewis, EARTHS Magnet School teacher, "This field trip connects to our study of
soil and how it is made."
told the students, that they could do their part to close the recycling loop. "To
help, don't put plastic, paper or metal in your green recycling barrels," he
said. "Once the organic materials become nutrient-rich compost, farmers and
gardeners use it to grow healthy fruits, vegetables, plants and trees. If we
don't recycle, all that green waste would end up in landfills."
Labels: Agromin organic recycling, EARTHS School, green recycling, green waste into compost, Newbury Park