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Composting Expert Shares the Basics: If it Grows, it Goes

To increase the awareness of sustainability, senior Colin Braun invited Bootstrap Compost to describe their service at School Meeting. Braun said the composting program has been one of the most notable improvements in campus sustainability.
 
Emma Brown, director of operations at Bootstrap Compost reviewed the basic process of composting and why it’s important. “When we put things into a landfill, there is no oxygen and materials can’t break down in a healthy way. This process creates a lot of unhealthy byproducts such as methane. What we are doing when we compost is offsetting greenhouse gases,” said Brown. “It’s really straightforward – we can compost most anything. What we say at Bootstrap is ‘if it grows, it goes.’”

“By composting and then using the finished product, a soil amendment, in our houseplants, our gardens, our lawn, grass on the side of highways, it adds nutrients and water-holding capacity to the soil, helping us to grow more things but without pesticides,” added Brown.

What do you do with the compost? Bootstrap has diverted more than 3.2 million pounds of food scraps, creating more than 1.6 million pounds of compost. We mostly give back our compost to our subscribers and also donate it to schools who grow gardens. By partnering with local farms, Bootstrap diverts thousands of pounds of organic material from landfills every week. 

What happens when you put non-compost into the compost? Our staff opens each container and looks at the material, taking out anything that will contaminate the compost.

Who does Bootstrap serve? Bootstrap serves households, restaurants, small businesses such as juice bars, and large businesses such as Converse and Puma. We set a schedule, provide a receptacle to pick up their food scraps, and we pick them up.

What can go in the compost bin? Except for metal, plastic or rubber, almost anything goes: fruits and vegetables; eggshells; meat, bones, seafood and dairy; bread, grains, and pasta; coffee grounds, filters, tea bags, and biodegradable cafe items; nuts and spices; napkins, paper towels, and compostable cutlery; laundry lint; and small yard clippings and flowers. Belmont Hill Sustainability Club is currently in the process of improving the waste sorting process for waiters in the dining hall. We have plans to add small buckets to each table for non-compostable items so that waiters do not have to sort out the trash while rushing to clear their trays.

At Belmont Hill, the Sustainability Club is currently in the process of improving the waste sorting process for waiters in the dining hall. Braun added, "We have plans to add small buckets to each table for non-compostable items so that waiters do not have to sort out the trash while rushing to clear their trays."

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Belmont Hill School educates boys in mind, body, and spirit to develop men of good character. Our community encourages and challenges students to discover and pursue passions, seek excellence, and face adversity with resilience. We cultivate critical thinking and creativity, teamwork and competition, hard work and reflection, tradition and innovation. Valuing our differences and working together, we embrace camaraderie, compassion, and service to others. Our school strives to instill in each boy ethical judgment, a sense of common humanity, and a lifelong love of learning.