Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun is the composting hub for the school division. Seven Oaks School Division is committed to composting for several reasons.
Waste Diversion from landfills – up to 40% of the things we throw away (organics) could actually be composted
Greenhouse Gas Reduction – when organics are put in the landfill they decompose without oxygen and produce more methane (potent greenhouse gas) than if composted properly with air.
Fertilizer Production – the production of synthetic fertilizers requires a lot of energy (mainly fossil fuels). When we use compost, we are able to add essential plant nutrients and beneficial microorganisms to the soil for free and with low or no fossil fuel input.
Education for Sustainable Development – composting is a very simple and tangible sustainability action that everyone can take. It can help improve quality of life through economic, environmental, and human health and well-being development. It is an activity that teaches about habitats, decomposition, communities, soils, waste management, culture, history, greenhouse gases, food production, etc.
Leading the way – in lieu of municipal composting programs, the social enterprise Compost Winnipeg has been doing residential compost pick up in parts of the city for a few years. In January 2020 the City announced it would support a municipal composting pilot project. Organizations such as the Green Action Centre and the Seven Oaks School Division have worked hard to educate people on the extra thought it takes to sort compostable items, and so we hope our efforts will support the new municipal composting program.
1. Divisionally we use a commercial scale, in-vessel composter called a Novi-Comp (formerly the BIOvator). Throughout the week, students and staff collect food scraps, pizza boxes, and yard waste. They consolidate the waste in bins and leave them out for weekly Friday pick-ups. Aki Centre staff or others collect these bins and leave clean bins in their place.
2. After collecting nitrogen rich food waste from schools, we mix it with carbon rich organic matter such as wood chips or cardboard and add to the Novi-Comp. The Novi-Comp rotates slowly a few times a day to add air to the mixture, and in 3-6 weeks the final “black gold" is ready and falls out the end. This finished compost will be available for schools and will be used in the Aki Centre gardens.
3. Several schools have pile compost systems set up at their schools. This is encouraged as it cuts down on fossil fuels used to pick up scraps and deliver finished compost, while also allowing more students to participate in the whole process. We understand that this takes a lot of work and is not a reality for all schools.
Only things that are biodegradable, and in small enough pieces, break down on their trip through the Novi-Comp. The “Compost Museum" (often highlighted on Instagram @7oaksgrows) contains things that have made it through relatively unscathed.
19 schools, the Board Office, BZERC, Transportation department, and Aki Centre actively collect compost for pick up while several more compost at their schools. Every school participating in the divisional composting program has at least one Compost Contact/Coordinator. These people help get their school organized, encourage people collect compost, help troubleshoot, and communicate with Aki Centre staff for pick up. They are true compost heroes. If you'd like to know who the Compost Contact is at your school, let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
Compost Champions are people or groups of people who have gone above and beyond with their composting efforts. Nominate a person or group from your school who is doing the dirty work to make composting a success by emailing email@example.com.
Fall 2019 Compost Champion Awards:
HC Avery – Room 118 Mrs. Barber
This class of 8th grade students came up with a brilliant waste diversion plan! They collected pumpkins after Halloween, smashed them so they were more easily biodegraded, and sent 600 lbs of them to the BIOvator.
Victory – Educational Assistants & Grade 5 Lunch Helpers
These hardworking staff and students make sure to empty the small compost bins into the larger bin every day! They educate Victory school community on what can be composted and help divert waste
Divisional Compost Collection Record.
*Coming Soon - Individual School Collection Records! Stay Tuned!