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Niagara Academy Students Learn Lesson on Composting

Niagara Academy teacher, Jim Behnke, decided to give the students a lesson in composting.  Compost is made from food scraps and yard waste which is turned into organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow.  “I wanted the students to realize how much waste is thrown out from our cafeteria each day because either it is expired or not eaten,” Mr. Behnke explains.  “A lot of times what is thrown away can be valuable to make compost and not end up in a landfill where it takes up space and can release methane gas.” 

Mr. Behnke incorporates a science lesson into the activity that has a revolving door of volunteers based on their availability.  “I talk about how the material breaks down and it benefits like reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and how it lowers your carbon footprint.” 

The material is being used to fortify the landscaping in the front of their Orleans/Niagara BOCES building and keeping the recently planted shrubs healthy.  “I think the students are enjoying getting out of the building and getting fresh air.  It is a great activity for them and helps them to get their CDOS (Career Development and Occupational Studies) hours which will help them attain their diploma.”


two boys standing at composter