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BRATTLEBORO — Windham Solid Waste Management District (WSWMD) is hosting an open house for its Backyard and Community Compost Demonstration and Training Site on Saturday, May 15, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The event is being held at the district’s transfer station at 327 Old Ferry Road.

The Open House will feature “mini” compost workshops, covering a range of topics, including: safe and successful food scrap composting, how to avoid odors and attracting flies and wildlife, the “pros and cons” of different compost bins, how to tell when your compost is “done,” and more. Two district staff will be on hand to answer composting questions. Free kitchen caddies, compostable bags and other giveaways will be available, and a free raffle for an Earth Machine Compost Bin will take place. The event is kid friendly and COVID safe (masks will be required).

The district and the Composting Association of Vermont, with partial funding from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Spark Grant Program, established the site as a “live” demonstration of small-scale composting of food scraps, garden trimmings, and other compostable materials. The demo site features various bins and tumblers, as well as onsite information about each and how to compost.

District staff will host backyard and community compost workshops at the demo site. Master gardeners and composters, garden clubs, schools, community groups and others can also host their own trainings at the site. The site is open for self-guided learning during normal transfer station hours; individuals and groups may also contact the district for a private demonstration. The site allows for participants to gain a realistic experience of small-scale composting in action.

Vermont’s Universal Recycling law now bans food scraps from landfill disposal. Residents in the district have several options for diverting food scraps from disposal. The district has free food waste disposal for all transfer station annual sticker holders; several towns also collect food scraps, including: Brattleboro, Dover, Jamaica, Stratton, Townshend, Wardsboro and Wilmington.

Food scraps can be safely and successfully composted at home or at community compost sites to meet the needs of residents without convenient food waste diversion options or those who want to make compost out of their food scraps. Through the demonstration site, the district’s goal is to help show options for home and community food scrap diversion. It serves to engage people about composting and provide peer learning opportunity to educate and raise awareness about food scrap diversion. WSWMD currently sells the Earth Machine bin and the Green Cone; Jora compost tumblers (perfect for bear country) can be ordered at a 40 percent discount through the district. These products are on display in the the Compost Demo Site. Check WSWMD’s website for more information about the Open House and the Compost Demonstration Site at WindhamSolidWaste.org or call 802-257-0272.