Soil Cycle: A Mobile Compost Initiative
|Project Lead:||Eyebeam Atelier|
|2014 Project Partners:||Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126, and Northside Charter School; El Puente; Brooklyn Botanical Garden; School for Public Engagement, Purchase College, State University of New York; and Eyebeam Atelier|
|2015 Project Partners:||Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126 and Northside Charter High School; and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation programs: Brooklyn Forestry and GreenThumb|
|Project Location:||Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126 and Northside Charter High School, 424 Leonard Street|
|2014 GCEF Grant:||$25,000|
|2014 Matching Contribution:||$0|
|2015 GCEF Grant:||$27,600|
|2015 Matching Contribution:||$0|
|Fact Sheet:||Soil Cycle PDF|
|Project Status:||Completed (January 2017)|
La Casita Verde and fiscal sponsor Eyebeam Atelier received a $25,000 GCEF grant in 2014 to fund a mobile compost initiative, “Soil Cycle,” at 3 Greenpoint schools (Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126 and Northside Charter High School, all housed in the same building). In this GCEF-funded initiative, specially-designed cargo bikes collected organic wastes from local schools, composted the wastes as the rider pedals, and allowed the composting process to be observed and monitored. Students learned first-hand the basics of microbiology and the practice and benefits of urban composting, and, at the same time, helped to reduce the amount of organic waste generated by their schools.
In 2015, La Casita Verde and Eyebeam Atelier received an additional $27,600 GCEF grant to supplement the Soil Cycle project. Major activities supported by this GCEF funding included:
- Planning and implementing compost operations at M.S. 126 and trained key members of the community to participate in the operations.
- Managing the composting systems already in place in the schools, making adjustments as needed, and ensuring the program continued to thrive.
- Working with student “Soil Ambassadors,” teachers, and parents to assist with scrap pickup, distributing information about the program, and more.
Teachers who were trained by the program are working on ways to incorporate material into the classroom. The Soil Cycle program will be delivered on an ongoing basis through the Green Team after-school program.
- Designed and built the Soil Cycle.
- Conducted 10 workshops and wrote curriculum for classes on topics of food waste and composting at Citizens of the World Elementary School, John Ericsson Middle School, and Northside Charter High School. Over 100 students participated in the “What is Compost” program and a class of 25 students were trained on how to be “Ambassadors of Composting” for their school.
- Planned and implemented compost operations at M.S. 126 and trained key members of the school community, including 4 staff members, 4 teachers, and approximately 10 students, to administer these operations.
- Composted 450 gallons of organic material over a six week period in the Soil Cycle composting system.
- Educated the community through the Soil Ambassador program, which uses the specially designed cargo bike to explain composting, reaching an estimated 50-100 community members.
- Developed 2 instructional videos and a user manual for use by the school to support the program, communicate its value to the public, and share information for teachers, parents and other stakeholders at all 3 schools. The instructional videos can be viewed on YouTube: video 1 and video 2.
Composting on Wheels: North Brooklyn Students Put a Peddle to the Metal (Greenpoint Gazette, May 28, 2015)