Composting in Schools


1 Introduction to composting in schools

Composting is a sustainable practice that consists of transforming organic waste into nutrient-rich compost, ideal for fertilising the soil. In schools, setting up composting systems not only helps to reduce waste and environmental impact, but also provides a valuable educational opportunity for pupils. In this article, we will explore the benefits of composting in schools, discuss step-by-step how to implement composting in the school environment and how to involve students in the process. In addition, we'll cover the care required, the utilisation of the compost generated and inspiring examples of composting in schools around the world. Get ready to discover how to make composting a sustainable and educational practice in schools.

1 Introduction to composting in schools

1.1 What is composting?

Composting is the natural process of breaking down organic waste, such as food scraps, leaves and plants, into a rich fertiliser called compost. This process is carried out by bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms that break down organic matter into nutrients that can be used to enrich the soil.

1.2 Importance of composting in schools

Composting in schools is an educational and sustainable activity that teaches students about the importance of reducing waste and caring for the environment. In addition, composting helps to reduce the environmental impact of organic waste, preventing it from being sent to landfill sites and contributing to the production of greenhouse gases. It's a practical way of promoting sustainability and creating a healthier environment in the school community.

2. Benefits of composting for the environment and the school community

2.1 Reducing waste and environmental impact

Composting reduces the waste of organic waste, which is responsible for a large proportion of the rubbish produced in schools. By composting these materials, we prevent them from being sent to landfill sites, where they produce methane gas, a potent contributor to global warming. By composting, we are giving this waste a more sustainable destination, thereby reducing its environmental impact.

2.2 Nutrient cycling and soil improvement

Composting also allows the nutrients contained in organic waste to return to the soil naturally. The compost produced is a fertiliser rich in essential nutrients for plants, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. By using compost in the school's green areas, we are enriching the soil and improving its quality, promoting healthy plant growth.

2.3 Environmental education and raising student awareness

Composting is a valuable opportunity to involve students in practical activities that promote environmental education. By taking part in the composting process, students learn about the importance of separating waste correctly, caring for the environment and sustainability. This helps them develop an environmental conscience from an early age and become more responsible citizens.

3. Step by step: Implementing composting at school

3.1 Assessing the space available

Before starting composting at school, it's important to assess the space available. Check whether there is enough space to install a compost bin or a suitable place for composting in piles. Make sure that the space is protected from heavy rain and allows for good air circulation.

3.2 Choosing the right composting system

There are different composting systems that can be used in schools, such as worm composters, bin composters or compost piles. Choose the system that best suits your school's needs, taking into account factors such as available space, quantity of waste and ease of handling.

3.3 Involving the school community

For composting to be a success at school, it's important to involve the entire school community. Educate staff, students and parents about the importance of composting and how they can contribute by separating organic waste correctly. Promote awareness campaigns, talks and educational activities to engage everyone in this process.

4. Involving students and educators in the composting process

4.1 Incorporating composting into the school curriculum

To maximise the benefits of composting, it is important to incorporate it into the school curriculum. Educators can carry out activities and lessons related to composting and the environment, emphasising the importance of these themes for sustainability. In this way, students will have a broader and deeper understanding of the importance of composting.

4.2 Practical and educational activities on composting

In addition to theoretical lessons, it is important to provide students with practical and educational activities about composting. They can actively participate in the process by feeding the composters, monitoring temperature and humidity, and learning about the different stages of decomposition. These practical activities encourage meaningful learning and make composting a fun and enriching experience.

4.3 Monitoring and student responsibilities

Students can take on responsibilities in composting, such as monitoring temperature and humidity, following the decomposition process and ensuring the compost bin is properly maintained. By getting involved in this practice, they develop skills of responsibility, teamwork and a sense of care for the environment. With composting in schools, we can turn organic waste into valuable resources, promote sustainability and educate a generation that is more aware of and committed to our planet.

5. Final considerations: The impact of composting in schools

To summarise, composting in schools has a number of benefits for both the environment and the school community. By implementing composting, schools can reduce waste, teach students about sustainability and environmental responsibility, and produce high-quality compost for use in gardens and educational projects. Although composting can present challenges, with the involvement of students, educators and the school community, it is possible to overcome them and promote a more sustainable environment. By adopting composting in schools, we are investing in a greener and more conscious future. Let's start making a difference today!


1. What organic waste can be composted?

In school composting, a wide variety of organic waste can be composted, including leftover fruit, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, dried leaves, among others. However, it's important to avoid using waste of animal origin, such as meat and dairy products, as they can attract unwanted animals.

2. How do I deal with the odour generated by composting?

Odour from composting can be minimised with a few simple measures. Make sure you maintain a balanced ratio between wet and dry waste, as well as ensuring good aeration of the compost. It is also recommended to cover fresh waste with a layer of dry material, such as leaves or sawdust, to help control odour.

3. Can composting in schools be implemented in any space?

Composting in schools can be adapted to different spaces, from schools with large grounds to those with limited space. There are composting systems that can be used outdoors, such as compost heaps or compost bins, and also more compact options, such as worm compost bins, which can be used indoors, such as classrooms or even kitchens.