SALEM, Va. – A compost-on-wheels is making its way around the Roanoke Valley to educate generations about sustainability.
Dozens of college students are learning about composting as the trailer is stationed this month at Roanoke College.
Just outside the Roanoke College Garden is the 8-foot-long colorful mobile compost unit.
It’s a new tool that Dr. Laura Hartman, an associate professor at Roanoke College, said is perfect for her environmental class of 18 freshmen.
“I thought this is exactly what my students need,” explained Hartman.
Earlier this month, students tossed their apple cores, along with about 300 pounds of the college’s food waste, into the compost trailer.
Air and solar energy will create nutrients and in about four to six weeks students will add them to the garden’s soil.
“They come here and get their hands dirty and see the leftovers from their dinner and then later see that it can grow the garden,” said Hartman. “They are going to remember that for the rest of their lives.”
It’s the vision Davey Rogner Stewards had in mind when he created the compost trailer in two months.
Rogner Stewards is the co-founder of The Harvest Collective, which aims to raise awareness about ecology through agricultural-based projects.
His goal is to tour the compost trailer around festivals, schools and neighborhoods to showcase how technology meets ecological integrity.
“We need to make this a priority in our life if we are going to pass a livable planet to the next generation,” said Stewards.
The Clean Valley Council is working alongside The Harvest Collective on this project.
Though the goal is to limit pile-ups in landfills, Clean Valley Council Executive Director Courtney Carter Plaster hopes the project will also spark new questions, “How can we get involved? How can we create composts and create small gardens in our own homes?”
The compost trailer will remain near the garden till mid-April.