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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI, Resource Recovery to offer Master Composter & Recycler training program

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 19, 2007 -- The University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. will offer the next session of their 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 six-week Master Composter & Recycler program will begin July 9 and run on five Monday evenings through August 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at URI’s East Farm, located off of Route 108 in South Kingstown. Two Saturday sessions will be scheduled to visit the state landfill in Johnston and Earth Care Farm, a commercial composting facility in Charlestown.

“Most people don’t realize that over 12 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 College of the Environment and Life Sciences Extension and Outreach 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 importance and benefits of composting and recycling, starting a backyard compost process, compost science, worm and innovative composting methods, and community outreach.

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 College of the Environment and Life Sciences Extension and Outreach Center at 401-874-4453 or email her at tara@uri.edu.