Your neighbors are composting, you can too!

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Your Neighbors Are Composting, You Can Too!
Banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds and more go into the compost bucket on the kitchen counter at Laura Grunloh’s house. She and her husband participate in the organics composting program of the City of Columbia Heights. They collect compostable materials and deliver them to the city’s Recycling Center  at 3801 Madison Street.  Laura feeds all the vegetable scraps she can to her rabbit, Harvey, and then composts the rest.Laura Grunloh

Laura is so committed to organics composting that she’s even involved her church, First Lutheran in Columbia Heights, in a compost program. One of the largest churches in the city with over 1,000 members, First Lutheran Church kicked off its composting effort in February. “To be good stewards of our planet’s resources, we’re are expanding our current recycling program of bottles, cans and paper to include organic materials like food waste and food-soiled paper to be composted,” said Laura. “We really hope to encourage other organizations to begin composting by sharing our story.”

Last year, households in Columbia Heights dropped off 14 tons of materials to be composted instead of going as trash to the landfill. “That’s a remarkable accomplishment already, and we have 200 households participating. We’d like to see even more households involved in the organics drop-off program,” said Jesse Davies, from the city’s Public Works Department. Free organics starter kits and the required bags for disposal are available by calling the city’s Public Works Department at (763) 706-3700 or email: Residents can take the organic composting materials they’ve collected to the city’s Recycling Center. It is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on most Saturdays but closed on holiday weekends.   Once organic materials are transformed into compost it is sold by students as a fundraiser for the Key Club at Columbia Heights High School. “This has raised over $800 so far for the club’s service activities,” said Davies. “This is a great way to close the loop.”