Boardman Glenwood Junior High School will receive a $16,000 Ohio Environmental Protection Agency grant to purchase a state-of-the-art composting bin.
The bin will be used to reduce waste of up to 35 percent by composting in an "Earth Tub" system.
"I learned about this type of compost bin from searching the internet and found a company called Green Mountain Technologies that creates compost bins used with large organizations, such as college campuses," teacher Laura Kibby, who applied for the grant, said.
The Earth Tub is eight feet in diameter and will be able to handle 100 pounds of biodegradables per day.
What allows the Earth Tub to handle such a large amount of compost materials every day is the fact it has an electric motor and an auger that turns the compost.
"This will greatly increase the amount it can break down without being over strenuous," Kibby said.
The compost made in the bin by decaying organic matter will then be used to fertilize soil in the school garden in the courtyard. Compost is usually made by gathering plant material, such as leaves, grass clippings and vegetable peels, into a pile or bin and letting it decompose as a result of the action of aerobic bacteria, fungi and other organisms.
"I also anticipate using the compost and the process itself to become incorporated into lesson plans for next year," Kibby said. "For example, while studying runoff, students will experiment if compost or top soil erodes quicker. The environmental club will also host an informative Compost Day next year for the community members and organizations that would like to learn about compost. Hopefully, we will have plenty of compost at that time to donate to them as well."
The goal of the project is to have all BGJHS students sort their waste every day at lunch so everyone plays a role in the school's composting efforts. Glenwood's H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Planet Earth) Club also will add its composting materials from its gardening efforts.
The new compost bin is expected to be installed this summer and be ready for use at the start of the next school year in August.
Glenwood was one of seven entities in the state to receive a total of $247,000. Some of the others were Oberlin College, Ohio University, Columbus Green Building Forum and the Toledo Zoo.