“This program provides attendees with the tools to be master composters and gives them the opportunity to teach others in their communities about the importance of composting,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn. “We want to encourage our residents to sign up and take advantage of what this program has to offer.”
Offered by Ocean County’s Department of Solid Waste Management with the support of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the program will be held on two consecutive Saturdays, Sept. 14 and Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The 12-hour training program is provided free of charge to interested Ocean County residents and taxpayers. There is a $75 fee for non-residents.
The course is limited to 20 participants and the registration deadline is Aug. 26. For more information and to register contact Sandra Blain-Snow, Recycling Program Aide, at 732-506-5047 or by email at [email protected] Registration can also be completed online by filling out and submitting an application at www.co.ocean.nj.us/recycle and clicking on Composting. Select Master Composter Volunteers from the drop down menu.
Those who successfully complete the program then go on to assist with the county’s efforts in providing residents with information on managing the organic waste they produce in their homes and the benefits of composting.
The two-day program is held at the county’s Recycling Education Center at the Ocean County Northern Recycling Center, 800 Towbin Ave., here. Blain-Snow, who is also an Ocean County Master Composter, is the instructor.
Volunteers should be familiar with gardening and composting, and have experience with speaking to small groups. Each applicant is encouraged to be sponsored by a group or organization as this ensures the opportunity to establish an outreach network for the program. Many types of groups can sponsor an applicant. Some examples are garden clubs, municipalities, and environmental commissions, recycling committees, retirement communities or service clubs.
“Master composters have been doing a great job in volunteering their time to help other Ocean County residents who are interested in composting,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines. “The Master Composter Program is a great way to learn about how to manage and reuse the organic waste that is generated in our own homes.”
Trained volunteers agree to provide a total of 24 hours of outreach, education and service to promote the benefits of home composting. There is no time frame for completion of this outreach. They are encouraged to tailor their outreach activities to their individual strengths and preferences.
“The environmental benefits of using compost are significant,” Quinn said. “It can help clean up contaminated soil, reduce runoff of toxic materials and improve your garden or lawn.”