CIALT LORI CHEENEY ACTION PLAN FOR COMPOSTING In our small community of about 600 people, we are facing a potential crisis. Currently we have access to one class one landfill, and it is about 30 miles away from our town. It seems that there is no end to what is discarded in our society. Although landfills are unsightly, and potentially dangerous to our environment, they are necessary. That said I also believe that it is the responsibility of each individual to be as conservative, and resourceful as possible when it comes to household waste. There are several options that can help to reduce what is put into the landfills. These are just a few ideas, and some plans that would decrease what goes into the landfill, and in return, will supply our community with some very beneficial products as a result. The local second grade at our elementary school has an aluminum recycling program. All of the children are encouraged to save cans, and to spread the word to all members of their family to do the same. Several of the local businesses are saving cans for these students as well. The teacher takes the time twice a year to travel three hours to the nearest recycling center, and turn in the cans. She then uses the money to buy supplies for her classroom. One service learning project that I have come up with is to expand the aluminum recycling project to the entire community. The program will include four, 55 gal drums placed at four different locations in the community. The school house, the local gas station, the local court house, and the landfill transfer station have all been chosen as sites for the barrels. Each barrel is painted white, and labeled for aluminum only. Several students and I will distribute flyers door to door into the community to make every one aware of this project and to encourage their participation. Two times each week, a student and I will collect the aluminum from the barrels, and deliver them to the second grade teacher. Our goal is to double what was collected last year by the students, and continue to increase our collection in the years to come. This will be beneficial to every one, the landfill is receiving less waste, we are participating in recycling, and the students will enjoy the items that the teacher purchases for their class. Hopefully the students will learn a life long appreciation and enthusiasm for doing their part to help out our environment. The other project that I am currently working on is a compost pile. I have combined efforts with my neighbor, and fellow classmate, Stephanie to compost our yard waste and kitchen scraps. Currently we have quite a pile started. We both have been researching the ins and outs of composting, and it has been very interesting. I now find myself buying food item in containers that I can compost, instead of containers that will end up in the landfill. I have also become painfully aware of the amount of waste that is produced in my home. I am much more conservative in the kitchen, and I am finding creative ways to use up our leftovers, instead of tossing them out. I am amazed at how many ways my eyes have been opened. It is like the snowball effect, the more I do, the more I learn, and the more I want to do, and learn. We plan on expanding our compost pile to include the other neighbors in the near future. I have also begun to use newspaper and chipped limbs for mulch in my flower beds. This has been beneficial in many different ways. The newspaper keeps down the weeds wonderfully, and holds in the moisture as well. Not only am I saving money on the water bill, and conserving water, but also I am decreasing the load that is hauled off to the landfill each week. I have actively involved my own children, and now that school is in full swing, I am involving the students as well. These projects will prove to be very beneficial to the entire community.