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Composting workshops: AFLEC Dubai and Raffles WA primary school students designed their own food bins

Society Sustainablity

In February and March, Eedama’s instructors Erika and Ounsi ran several composting workshops with Grade 5 students.

After a quick chat about the importance of food, we all tried to evaluate honestly the amount of food we waste: It turns out that on average, students as well as adults waste one fourth to one third of the food they

The students had first to complete a drawing describing the food cycle and the main sources of pollution along this cycle: Shipping, packaging and others they were able to point out.

They we explained them about how to actually perform composting: One of the easiest ways, and a very efficient one in a hot weather, is to use decomposition helped by light and oxygen: Food waste has to be thrown in a bin that is very well aerated, and that is as well reached by light. However food should not face the sun directly as it would dry and lose the energy it is storing.

A proper alternating between green (vegetables, peals) and brown (dead leaves, branches, tea, coffee) food waste should be kept. We do not advise, in a school context, to include meat and dairy products as this would require some more attention and will bring undesired bugs.

A regular mixing of the total and a monitoring of its humidity are needed. Someone needs to mix the bin once a week. For a first composting trial, this should be more than enough, of course, monitoring the temperature and checking more accurately the quantities of each type of food can help, but these can happen later on.

Once this is all agreed on, the really difficult step starts! Food waste collection! That implies having a network of bins and emptying the small ones in the big ones regularly.

We had the kids make their owns table top food waste collection bins… They were quite creative:

Creative Food Collection Bins

To get an impression of the atmosphere, see this little video we posted on Instagram after the workshop with Raffles World Academy: