University of Idaho Extension Program Can Transform Magic Valley Residents Into Master Composters and Recyclers

Thursday, January 20 2011

JEROME, Idaho – Students, teachers, professionals and others interested in careers or helping their own communities become more sustainable are invited to become master composters and recyclers through a University of Idaho Extension program in Jerome.
Registration for the seven-week program is open through Jan. 28. Weekly class sessions will be held Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 2 to March 16 at the Con Paulos Community Room at 251 E. Frontage Road S at the Jerome Exit 168 on Interstate 84.
Program organizers Mario de Haro Marti, Gooding County Extension educator, and Jo Ann Robbins, Jerome County Extension educator, intend to train those who will use the information themselves and share it with others.
The course may be taken for professional development, college or graduate-level credits with additional academic coursework.
The course will cover topics ranging from pollution prevention to energy and water use reduction with a focus on practical approaches. Other topics will include waste treatment and recycling, landfill operation, composting concepts and methods, and compost uses, including for small farms and communities.
The final program will focus on vermicomposting, which uses worms, and community and volunteer opportunities. A field trip is also planned, which will be optional for those not taking the course for credit.
In 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated Americans produced 254 million tons of municipal solid waste, more than half of it ultimately disposed of in landfills.
Reducing the amount of waste landfilled can reduce cost to individuals, institutions and businesses, in addition to making society more sustainable and protecting the environment.
Registration for the seven-week program will cost $35 or $15 for students. Registration is available for individual sessions at $10 apiece. Students who want college credit will pay University of Idaho fees.
More information is available by contacting de Haro Marti at the Gooding County Extension office at 203 Lucy Lane in Gooding, (208) 934-4417 or