Young students at St. Alfred Catholic School learned a squirmy
lesson in composting while welcoming their new friends —
Red Wiggler worms — into the classroom. Composting bins
containing worms were installed in each classroom of the Mississauga
school on Feb. 28 as part of a program funded by TD Friends of
the Environment Foundation.
“Seeing projects that engage youth in their local environment
is always exciting and it’s encouraging to see students
excited about reducing waste in their schools,” said Mary
Desjardins, executive director of the Foundation.
The vermicomposting process uses worms to digest waste such as
food scraps. The end product, known as worm castings, is an excellent
fertilizer for soil and will be harvested by the students for
gardens and planters. Students plan to use this soil to plant
trees on the school grounds this spring.
“This project gives our students hands-on opportunities
to learn invaluable lessons on composting and being good stewards
of our environment through responsible management of resources,”
said school principal Deanna Tucciarone.
Cathy Nesbitt, founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters, an
environmental business which specializes in vermicomposting, hosted
workshops at the school to teach students about the process. Nesbitt
says St. Alfred is one of a growing number of schools using worms
to teach students about composting and waste diversion.
“Vermicomposting is a highly effective solution to the problem
of organic waste because it allows worms to do what they do: turn
garbage into precious fertilizer,” said Nesbitt. “With
the introduction of municipal green bin and compost bin programs,
people are becoming more knowledgeable about how to reduce the
amount of waste being sent to landfills. As a result, worms will
continue to play an increasing role in how we interact with our
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