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General News · 17th March 2020
Maureen Williams
At this time when we are all (appropriately) preoccupied with a certain microbe, it might be a healthy distraction to think about other microbes -- the ones that break down organic matter and turn it into the stuff that grows nourishing food!

In the interest of increased long-term self-sufficiency for our island, we are starting an initiative to promote composting. As conditions permit, we hope to gather in the future and take steps together to build community compost and decrease shipment of organic matter off-island. For now, we are collecting information, planning, dreaming...

Below is the introduction we prepared pre-pandemic. Please, if possible, respond to the survey by email, but know we will read any paper surveys that make it into drop-off envelopes.
Composters and Non-cCmposters Unite

Did you know that Cortes has the highest percentage of food waste and compostable paper in its waste stream in the entire SRD? As mystified as we are by this statistic, there is no reason why we need to use our tax dollars to ship away this valuable resource. 

We are the informal Cortes Composting task force and our mission is to divert as much of this organic material so that it can be put to good use here. We are in the early stages of formulating a plan and have been joined by Whitney Vanderleest who brings a wealth of composting knowledge. We have a number of ideas on how to achieve our goal but first we want to know what is keeping us from composting more. Worried about vermin, no place to put a compost bin, not enough food scraps to make it worthwhile, it's gross — whatever the case may be we want to know. This is not about compost shaming but rather the info we need to put our efforts to best use. A pick up program, build-your-own composter workshops, or perhaps just starting neighbourhood conversations that put the material in the hands of the people who want it are some of the ideas that have been kicked around.

Please fill out the attached survey and in the meantime we will continue to do our homework so we can turn this ship around together.

Thank you, The Official Unofficial Cortes Composting Taskforce
Phil Hey
Whitney Vanderleest
Maureen Williams

(WORD version, if you prefer, is attached to this post)

Thank you for participating. You can email your survey to Maureen and or leave it in one of the drop-off envelopes at the Whaletown and Manson’s post office, the Co-op, and the library.

1. Do you compost food scraps?
a. if no, can you tell us what keeps you from composting?

b. if yes, might you be interested in receiving compostable material from nearby neighbours?

2. Please check off all of the following that interest you:

o written material about how to create compost
o class on composting basics
o composter-building workshop
o participating in small neighbourhood composting program
o having access to compost for your garden
o worm bin info or materials
o a pick-up service for kitchen scraps

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

If you’d like to participate in this composting initiative, please feel free to share your name, email/phone, and/or in what area of Cortes you live.