Island Green Invites Public to Backyard Composting Workshop

In honor of VI Recycles Month, Iowa State University’s EARTH Program, Gifft Hill School and Island Green Living Association have teamed up with V.I. Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) on a Backyard Composting Workshop offered free to the public. It will take place from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 23, at St. John’s Gifft Hill School Upper Campus, providing live demonstrations and all the basics for a variety of composting techniques that can be carried out right in the kitchen and backyard.

Tours of the expansive EARTH Program gardens at Gifft Hill School will also be available. The public is invited to share their composting experiences and have gardening and composting questions answered by local experts.

“Studies show that nearly 80 percent of our waste stream is either compostable or recyclable,” said Harith Wickrema, Island Green Living president. “Given the current state of the territory’s landfills, it is imperative that we utilize these resources rather than continue to toss them away. Please consider your household food scraps a resource that will provide nutrients for your home gardening.”

“VI Recycles Month highlights the importance of keeping recyclable resources out of our landfills; it emphasizes community involvement including participation in outreach programs such as the compost workshop,” said Wade Taylor, VIWMA interim executive director. “We thank our partners on St. John and throughout the territory for making our events and workshops a success and applaud them for being active Preserving Paradise Partners.”

“The great thing about composting is everyone can do it relatively easily with a minimum of space, and the result can truly make a difference,” said Dr. David Minner, coordinator of the Iowa State University EARTH Program and an Island Green board member. “The Backyard Composting Workshop provides our community with the information they need to be part of the solution.”

The following backyard composting methods will be demonstrated:
· Hot composting
o One cubic yard and greater pile composting
· Cold composting
o Small cages composting
o Crank and tumbler composting
o Gallon bucket composting
o Bokashi anerobic composting
· Vermiculture worm composting

Both ISU EARTH Program interns and Gifft Hill School students will assist with demonstrations and activities.

Refreshments will be available at the workshop, and there will be a drawing for a variety of giveaways, including a tumbler composter and kitchen counter compost bins. The event will take place rain or shine, and will move indoors should there be inclement weather.

For more information, the public can contact VIWMA Communications Management at 513-4171 or email