Register this month for May 5 compost seminar

Mark your calendars for International Compost Awareness Week, taking place May 5–11. 

University Heights will take part in this global effort, kicking off the week with a free Backyard Composting 101 seminar on May 5, 1:30 p.m., at the University Heights Branch Library. Registration begins on April 23, at

Carin Miller, education specialist for the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, will present the one-hour seminar. "This program will provide you the information and basic tools you'll need to start a simple, hands-off backyard composting system,” said Miller. “On average, about 30% of household waste is compostable food scraps and yard waste. Backyard composting is one of the easiest things an individual can do to decrease the amount of waste being sent to the landfill.

"Additionally, when food and yard waste is sent to the landfill, it generates methane gas, which has about 80 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide in the short term."

According to Sara Phillips, University Heights Library manager, "Heights Libraries has recently begun the Sustainable Library Certification Program process through the Sustainable Libraries Initiative, and programs like Backyard Composting 101 are part of our commitment to cultivate a greener future for both our library and community."

Backyard composting may not be feasible or desirable for all residents, and some organic waste cannot be placed in backyard bins. This is where commercial composting comes in. Rust Belt Riders is the local provider of such services.

Zoe Apisdorf, director of residential experience for Rust Belt Riders, explained, "Composting at home is a great step for those interested in building closer relationships with their food use and biological backyard community. For all materials that cannot be composted in a backyard composter, many people choose to work with us as an option, in addition to composting at home. We believe that opting for both is the best solution to keeping all food waste from entering the landfill."

Rust Belt Riders offers curbside pick-up as well as a neighborhood drop-off at Walter Stinson Community Park, aka "The Walt.”

Organic waste composting methods decrease methane, help mitigate climate change, reduce fertilizer inputs, and increase resilience to the effects of extreme weather conditions. University Heights proudly shares in this global effort during International Compost Awareness Week.   

Elizabeth Englehart

Elizabeth Englehart is a member of the University Heights Citizens Advisory Committee on Sustainability.

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.28.2024