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If you build it they will compost!

As a gift to HAECC, the SVIS (socio-vocational integration services) students voted to use some of the Breakfast Club (another SVIS project) money to buy some of the materials to build a compost bin. This was to honour Earth Day on April 22 and to allow fruit & vegetable scraps from weekly cooking activities and daily lunches to be recycled back into the environment, not just thrown in the garbage.

With the SVIS students now in work programs and some on sick leave, not all the students were available on a regular basis to work on the compost bin. Over a number of weeks, two SVIS students, Bryan and Jackie, created “the best compost bin I’ve ever seen” according to HAECC Horticulture Coordinator Denise Chavez. It was placed in its permanent spot on April 14th.

Jackie’s leadership skills emerged for this project. After he looked at a number of YouTube videos, he proposed using wooden pallets, and consulted Denise on a couple of questions such as whether a compost bin should have a base (it shouldn’t). The class made up a materials list; five wooden pallets were found for free, and screws, hinges, staple gun, drill were brought from homes. What was not donated by students and the teacher was bought locally, such as a roll of wire mesh and a latch at a total cost of around $25. SVIS students practiced calculation skills, decision-making, team work, communication, health & safety on the job, problem-solving, internet skills, and perseverance (all of which are in SVIS’s curriculum).

The compost bin is behind the main HAECC building and ready for use. Bryan and Jackie carved their initials into the compost bin door as a way for them to sign their creation.

[Report and photos by “proud and pleased” SVIS Teacher – Johanna Cardinal]