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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. – August 5, 2008 -- The University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. will again offer their training program this fall 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 seven-session Master Composter & Recycler program will begin Sept. 3 and run on five consecutive Wednesday evenings through Oct. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island’s East Farm, off route 108 in Kingston. Two Saturday sessions, September 6th and September 13th, 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 we are facing a crisis with capacity at our state landfill – we are literally running out of room,” said Marion Gold, director of the URI Outreach Center. “We can all take action to address this problem. By composting in our backyards, we can reduce material sent to the landfill by over 10 percent. Backyard composting is cheaper for society, better for the environment, and great for the garden. 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.
The Master Composter & Recycler training program has already trained over 100 people to become greener citizens and spread the message of solid waste reduction.

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 Sejal Harde at the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences Outreach Center at 401-874-4453 or email her at sejal@uri.edu.