Why do we throw out so much garbage?
High School students have been studying this question in Andover’s Environmental Technology class, co-taught by teachers Zach Owen and Tim Demster. They have been teaching students about the principle of “Cradle to Cradle”, in which ideally, there is no garbage. Instead, raw materials are not thrown away, but are reused indefinitely or serve as material for new products. In the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, products are designed to be fully recyclable or reusable and do not contain any harmful raw materials.
To combine ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’, Environmental Technology students have been working with a local nonprofit organization, Art for Rural America, to design and manufacture a 3-bay compost bin for the Fassett GreenSpace. On Friday May 13th, students delivered the compost bin to the public garden located at 55 N. Main Street in Wellsville. Student, Richard York, used his commercial vehicle to deliver the completed compost bin.
View slideshow of the students work
Currently, the compost bin is intended for use only by the garden’s volunteers, and is not open for the community to utilize without permission. This may change as the compost bin becomes more established or new partnerships arise.
Owen partners with the community for his class projects in several of the courses he teaches. In the past, Owen’s students have created a maple syrup evaporator and shelters for homeless people in Rochester.
In discussing the compost bin, Owen states: “My students wanted to purchase most items locally. So we purchased hardware from Andover Hardware and Hess Tire. We also bought locally milled larch from Eddy’s Lumber in Alfred Station. Larch is like nature’s “pressure treated” wood. We used a natural finish to keep this wood viable for years to come.”
In addition to this project, the Environmental Technology class runs a garden in the Andover School’s courtyard. “I am thrilled that we could partner with Andover’s Environmental Technology class for this project!” said Art for Rural America Board President, Cassandra Bull. “I love when local schools are engaged in our garden space and use it for educational purposes. I spoke with the students about the creation of the garden and how we got started. I hope that learning about community gardens can inspire these students to continue making positive changes in their community in the future. On our side, a compost bin is long overdue! I am grateful for the diverse and enduring support from our community, and this compost bin is another testament to that.”
This compost bin project was funded by a grant by the East Hill Foundation in North Tonawanda. The Fassett GreenSpace is open from dawn until dusk throughout the year. Come check out the fine work of these students, play the instruments, and enjoy the garden.