Recycle, reuse, give back to the earth
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 02:02
Oregon State University’s soil science department co-hosted a worm bin workshop Monday alongside the Student Sustainability Initiative, as part of the ongoing RecycleMania efforts happening around campus.
At the workshop, participants received their own bins, worms and food to get started and teach them about the basics of bedding. They were then able to take their bins and their newly gained knowledge home with them to begin their own at-home compost sites.
The event encouraged participants to begin using their food waste, like breadcrumbs and vegetable peelings, to feed the worms. The worms make worm castings, which can then be used as a rich soil or fertilizer for a small garden.
“Basically, what it boils down to is a waste-diversion project, reducing what we send to landfills,” said OSU industrial engineering student Kyle Knight. “You can create some really great soil from food waste that you would normally just throw away.”
Knight is the waste reduction project coordinator for the SSI.
Jerald Noble is a student in the OSU horticulture program, and attended Monday’s worm bin event to learn more about the benefits of composting with worms.
“I was already familiar with the advantages you get from worm composting, but coming to this event helped me discover even more benefits, aside from reducing waste output and burdening the tax-made system of landfills,” Noble said.
The idea for the workshop came from students in the crop and soil sciences 205 class, who were interested in learning more about this efficient form of composting.
“We help students realize their own projects, anything they want to do,” Knight said. “They come to us, and we help them set up their own initiatives.”
Some of the other ideas students have recently brought forth include residence hall compost competitions and recycling campaigns.
In addition to working with the SSI, there are countless other ways students and community members can get involved with their own recycling projects.
One way is by attending this month’s Repair Fair, happening this Wednesday in the Recycling Warehouse from 5-7 p.m. Several regular volunteers for the fair will be hosting how-to workshops on sewing, bike maintenance and other repair skills to teach attendees how to make common repairs for themselves in the future.
This event was part of an ongoing series of activities held for ReycleMania, a national recycling competition held between universities each year. At the end of the fourth week of the competition — OSU has taken the lead over the University of Oregon — 6.14 to 6.10 pounds of recycling per person.
To find a listing of all of the RecycleMania events still to come, visit Campus Recycling’s webpage at recycle.oregonstate.edu.
Lara von Linsowe-Wilson, news reporter