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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI, Resource Recovery to offer second Master Composter/Recycler training program

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 13, 2006 -- The University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. will launch the second edition of a training program for local residents interested in becoming experts at composting and recycling.

Modeled after the URI Master Gardener program and similar programs around the country, the eight-week Master Composter/Recycler program will begin March 27 and run on five Monday evenings through May 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Warwick Public Library. Two Saturday sessions will be scheduled to visit the state landfill in Johnston and Earthcare Farm, a commercial composting facility, in Exeter.

“Most people don’t realize that over 30 percent of what is sent to the state landfill is organic material that could be composted in our own backyards or at a centralized facility,” said Marion Gold, director of the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center. “Composting is cheaper for society and better for the environment. So we’re looking to train interested individuals to help us spread the word and get the job done.”

In addition to the general public, Gold said that municipal recycling coordinators, public works staff, conservation commission members and others would benefit from the training.

The weekly sessions will discuss such topics as the economic benefits of composting and recycling, the importance of reducing the quantity of material sent to the landfill, how to create a home composting process, the benefits of composting to gardeners, and which communities in Rhode Island have composting practices.

The first Master Composter/Recycler training program was launched last fall and was met with great enthusiasm. “We had as many participants as we could handle, and they all went away with a passion for educating others about the benefits of composting and recycling,” Gold said.

Like the Master Gardener program, the Master Composter/Recycler program will combine classroom instruction with a volunteer commitment. Those completing the program will be required to complete 30 hours of volunteer time educating the public about composting and recycling practices.

A course fee of $50 will be charged to each registrant to cover classroom materials. For more information or to register for the course, call Tara Germond at the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center at 401-874-4453 or email her at tger8724@postoffice.uri.edu.