The following presentations and videos were shared with students as part of the regularly distributed Holmes Highlights at Holmes Junior High School in the 2020-2021 school year. Use these for background knowledge about composting, recycling, and waste management or as inspiration to create your own educational content.
Videos For The Classroom
How To: Landfill & Compost
This short video gives an overview of how students would sort their lunch trays, including which items should go in either the ‘landfill’ bin or the ‘compost’ bin. (Autumn 2020)
What’s in Iowa’s Garbage?
The most recent study on the contents of trash sent to Iowa landfills is explained in this video by Tammy Turner with the Waste Trac Education Team and the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission (BHCSWMC). The 2017 Iowa Statewide Waste Characterization Study found that paper, food waste, and plastic are the top three categories of municipal solid waste. (January/February 2021)
Importance of Composting
This presentation, which highlights the importance of composting, begins with a video describing the “food wastage footprint.” Erin Richardson, with Green Iowa AmeriCorps and the Waste Trac Education Team, explains how composting works, including the difference between aerobic and anaerobic decomposition. (February 2021)
Backyard Composting for Holmes
The step-by-step process for students – or parents – who are interested in composting in their own backyard is explained in this video by Erin Richardson, with Green Iowa AmeriCorps and the Waste Trac Education Team. Steps include preparing a space and bin, ensuring there’s a balance between ‘greens’ and ‘browns’, taking care of the pile, and knowing what foods to avoid. (February 2021)
Worms at Work (Vermicomposting)
A composting alternative is offered for apartment-dwellers and those who want to compost year-round: use red wiggler worms! Tammy Turner, with the Waste Trac Education Team and the BHCSWMC, describes how to set up a vermicomposting bin, the life cycle of a worm, and how to utilize the compost once it’s ready. (March 2021)
Cedar Valley Garbage
This video illustrates where garbage in the Cedar Valley goes, from a curb to a transfer station to a landfill. Tammy Turner, with the Waste Trac Education Team and the BHCSWMC, goes in-depth about how a landfill is constructed in an effort to protect the environment and how students can work to avoid sending items to the landfill using the waste hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, then dispose if none of those options are possible. (March 2021)
In this presentation, a video is shown illustrating the “life of a plastic bottle.” Erin Richardson, with Green Iowa AmeriCorps and the Waste Trac Education Team describes the different types of plastic and what can be recycled. She discusses the connection to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and actions that students can take to reduce their plastic “footprint.” (April 2021)