Over the past four weeks, over 30 volunteers from all over the county have been training in all aspects of food-waste prevention and home composting in a bid to become Mayo’s first Master Composter volunteers.
The project, which is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency with support from Mayo County Council and CLÁR IRD, included the construction of a home-composting demonstration site. This compost demonstration site, the first of its kind in Mayo, is located at The Lawn, D’Alton Street, Claremorris.
Cllr Cyril Burke, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, officially opened the site to the general public and awarded the volunteers their Master Composter certificates last weekend.
The purpose of the site is to show the various home made and commercially available systems of composting that can be carried out at home, in schools and in communities.
Composting uses the natural decomposers in the soil such as soil bacteria and earthworms to break down garden and some kitchen food waste into a crumbly, nutrient rich compost that can be used to grow flowers and vegetables.
Speaking about the initiative, Sharon Cameron, Environment Awareness Officer with Mayo County Council, described the project as a great way for people to learn about composting.
“We found it was a great way of learning, and there was a great sense of people working together. People really stuck at it.”
Sharon explained that constructing the demonstration in Claremorris means that the group can now show people a working composter, ‘rather than showing people in a book’.
Stating that the project was one of the best things she had ever been involved in, Sharon commended the 30 volunteers who committed 30 hours of their time, over a five week period to the project. “The volunteers travelled from all around. We had people ranging in age from their mid-teens to their 70s.”
The volunteers, who now join the national network of Master Composters, plan to run an outreach programme for schools, tidy town committees and other groups across the region.
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