Does Your Church Compost?

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I'm curious if any churches have tried composting? If so, how's it going? Do you work with a company or have a garden? Do you label bins? 

I recently started composting at home and it has greatly reduced our waste. I'm excited to hear how this is going for churches. 

Thanks for sharing! 

 

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Neland does! We use Organicycle and have had great success. The transition, of course, took a little time, but with clearly labeled, sorted trash stations on each level of the church, we've noticed a huge reduction in our landfill waste over the last year. We've also noticed that there's a great interest in composting at home among members of our congregation.

Our church has some experience with composting. Every year, we throw an annual youth fundraiser dinner that generates a ton of waste; this year, I wanted to not only reduce our waste but introduce some of our congregants to composting. We partnered with another church that already composts for a one-time usage of their composting system. In so doing, we reduced our typical landfill waste by 50%! It was a huge success and generated interest among congregants for more sustainable practices at our church.

It doesn't take a ton of work, either. My advice would be threefold: (1) Have congregants donate old silverware and coffee mugs, so you don't have to order expensive compostable materials; (2) Pick up compostable paper plates and make sure they don't have a plastic liner around their exterior; and (3) pick up compostable waste bags at any home improvement store, which are inexpensive. Like we did, partner with another church that already has a compost system to see if you can partner with them the first few times. Advertise well that you're doing something different, then invite people to be a part of the process.

Community Builder

Yes we compost and recycle. As our garbage pick up is private and doesn't include composting, we have dedicated people who take it home and put it in the city's compost bins. That way, when we do use paper plates, cups and napkins, like at our Kick-Off Party, we can compost them along with the food. Plastic ware goes in the recycle. That way a big event ends up with little garbage.

We also have a recycling station in our church hallway with clearly labeled bins. These too are emptied and recycled by volunteers.

I encouraged you to look into this for your church.

Monroe Community Church (CRCNA) also uses Organicycle (organicycle.org); but that service is specific to Kent County, Michigan. Regardless, though, it's been going great for us! We started a Creation Care Team, and we have a volunteer "recycling coach" positioned at our waste bins each Sunday to gently guide waste into the correct bins. People are catching on really well and are appreciative of someone to remind them where everything goes. I hope you're able to find something that works for your church, Staci!

This is so great to read. I am a Master  Composter (MSU Extension) and I both teach backyard/home composting but I am also coordinating composting at 8 churches in Holland along with a County facility and possibly a school. We are running a Pilot Program with Republic and Cocoa Composting. this is being coordinated through GreenMichigan.org and Macatawa Creation Care

If any churches in Holland are interested please let me know. Either through this network conversation or at [email protected]
616.403.5777

So, yes our church composts, mostly because of our reminders and ensuring that the collection bucket gets placed in plain view at church gatherings and potlucks. We keep a bucket at the coffee bar for grounds and tea bags, and another in the kitchen for fruit and vegetable scraps and peels. It's a slow process in changing the habit of simply dumping all trash into one large can. I do think that people are receptive to the idea; it takes time to change the collective thought. If my wife or I are not around, the process is not likely to happen.

Community Builder

I haven't seen a brown bin at church, but I do know that my church does recycling.  Usually the bin is kept inside next to the side door of the building, so if there was a brown bin it would probably be there too.  Maybe the pastor does.  I'll forward the question to Council.  I do at home.

I should try to get my church to compost. I would take the material myself. I'm always greedy for more organic material for my garden. I compost at home, but my family doesn't generate much on our own. Only one 20 gallon garbage can per year.