September 30, 2014

Stop Wasting Food Waste - Atlantic County Master Gardeners Composter Training Offers Alternatives on October 23, 24

The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County will hold a comprehensive two-day training that goes beyond the basic “do’s and don’ts” of backyard composting on October 23 and October 24.

Across the country, food waste is one of the largest components of municipal waste or garbage. The average American throws away about 20 pounds of food each month. Composting food scraps reduces the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill while producing a valuable end product; a rich organic soil amendment that adds nutrients to gardens.

Atlantic County’s program is based on the successful Master Composter program in Ocean County, which offers in depth instruction and prepares participants to educate others in the community.

The Atlantic County Master Composter Training class provides a lively mix of speakers and classroom learning along with hands on activities and real practical experience making and using compost. The class also includes a tour of ACUA’s landfill and yard waste composting facilities, which gives participants insight into how waste is managed in Atlantic County. This year, the tour of ACUA’s facilities presents an additional opportunity for participants. ACUA will be hosting a two-day equipment exhibition that will give participants a chance to see a wide range of heavy equipment that is used in large scale composting operations.

Master Composter speakers include Mona Bawgus, coordinator of the Rutgers Master Gardener Program in Atlantic County, Eileen Miller, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Specialist, Barbara Fiedler, Galloway Township’s Recycling Coordinator, and Cheryl Milburn, who will share information on vermicomposting, or using worms for composting.

The course will be held on Thursday, October 23 and Friday, October 24 from 9 am to 3 pm at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, 6700 Delilah Road in Egg Harbor Township. Class size is limited but space is still available. To register or for more information: go to or call 609.272.6950. The cost for the two-day training is $35.

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