Sustainability at City High: The Composting Dilemma

City High’s Garden and Environmental Clubs merge together to implement a composting system at school

Aala Basheir, Features Editor

As a result of increased student interest, City High has restarted Garden Club, combining it with Environmental club. Earlier this year, members worked in the recently renovated Greenhouse, as many were hopeful to grow their own foods. One of the most recent projects launched, in efforts to make the school more sustainable, involves implementing a composting program. 

“The need for composting has always been there.  It makes sense to compost organic waste instead of throwing it in the landfill. The Environmental and Garden Club have recognized the need and last year implemented composting the brown paper towels being used to clean tables each class period,” Mary Lestina, City High science teacher, began. “We were composting 2-3 large garbage bags full of paper towels each week, but had to take them home to compost with the City of Iowa City since the district does not have a composting project in place.” 

The club is currently in the process of writing a proposal that will be presented to the school district. Having identified the necessary materials and contacted administrators, janitorial staff, and district ground representatives, the club plans to present to the district in the upcoming weeks. 

“We’re hoping that more students will want to be involved now that we have a plan going forward,” Garden Club leader, Nora Gibson ‘23 stated.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, composting wasted foods holds many benefits such as reducing methane emissions otherwise largely generated in landfills.

“My passion for sustainability comes from my passion for science. Because I love science and learning about the world, these super negative things, such as climate change give the passion to do something to help,” Gibson explained. “One High school in a district doing one composting project might not seem like a lot, but I’m hoping that if we can get this pilot program started, then it will go to the other schools in our district, and that could make a difference.”

Environmental and Garden Club meetings are held in room 2102, each Monday at 8:15.  Contact Mary Lestina at [email protected] for more information regarding the club.