In September 2020 I joined Killeen National School as a Special Needs Assistant. I was asked to help with the school’s outdoor education class. I have a background in gardening, so I said no problem. I wanted to have an ongoing project for the students, so when I saw the school compost bin I said, right I'll research composting and we'll work on that.

I thought I could just throw some fruit and veg in the plastic bin and some sort of magic would happen. I thought composting happened due to the design of the bin. Well, very quickly I ended up with a smelly, sticky, and fly-infested mess.

This wasn’t going to work, so I decided to do my homework. I went online and started to research. I
was introduced to a whole world, from static composting to Bokashi composting and everything in between.

Armed with my new knowledge, I went back to the students with a plan. The school students would provide the green waste (high in nitrogen) like apple cores, orange peels, and banana skins, and I would provide the brown waste (high in carbon) such as, straw, leaves, and shredded cardboard.

Due to Covid the school was divided in two, junior side and senior side. We decided because the compost bin was on the junior side, we would educate the children from junior infants to second class about composting.

I kept it very simple, I told them the compost bin needs lovely, healthy food: their fruit leftovers from lunch. It needs oxygen: the compost bin needed to be aerated every two to three days, and a cool drink of water: the compost needs to have a damp texture.

Once we could see how successful the programme was going, we added a second compost bin for the senior side, they were so excited to get behind it. We then added a leaf mould bin and finally the school bought a Continues Flow Through worm bin.

So, from a rarely used compost bin, St Abbans Killeen National School is producing highly nutritious compost for its own garden!

To find out more about Eoin's composting experience and tips, click the links below:


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