Lieutenant Dave and fellow firefighters at Station 7 in SE Portland understand that composting reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. In fact, up to 25% of the garbage in the United States that is sent to landfills is made up of yard trimmings and food scraps and could be composted at home.
Instead of watching the local landfill get bigger and more expensive to maintain each month, firefighters collectively decided to take action and try composting. In the back parking area at Station 7, firefighters chose a level, well-draining, shady location that could accommodate their compost pile. Adjacent to the compost pile, firefighters constructed two large planting beds out of wood to grow vegetables using the composted material.
The compost pile will be comprised of carbon- and nitrogen-rich organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings and vegetable scraps, and naturally occurring bacteria and fungi. Oxygen and water will be used to break down these materials in the compost pile. The resulting decayed material will end up being a nutrient-dense food that nourishes all forms of plant life.
Lieutenant Dave explaining the composting process
Each day, firefighters will add scraps of kitchen food to the compost pile. Grass clippings, leaves, bark, twigs, branches, coffee grounds, and filters will be added as well to the pile to help speed the decomposition process. Over time, firefighters will apply compost fillings to the two adjacent planter boxes and plant various vegetables for use in firehouse cooking.
Firefighters at Station 7 know that their "green efforts" will make a difference and they are proud knowing they are helping save the environment! Check back on the Fire Blog for regular updates on Station 7’s composting initiative.
Are You Inspired to Compost?
Interested in learning more about composting methods, bins, demonstrations, problems and solutions, how to compost with worms, and “recipes” for success?
Visit Metro’s website at http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=553 and get started!
Portland Fire & Rescue We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
July 20, 2010