Everyone in a community is an important part of closing the loop on community food systems. Close the Loop (CTL) volunteers engage in community composting efforts and make a difference in their community food system. CTL volunteers staff special events, (e.g. fairs, community events, concerts, festivals, etc.) and help to establish new collection programs (e.g. school cafeteria composting services, organizing leaf drop programs, etc.) by providing waste separation monitoring. Through monitoring at these events, volunteers fulfill a part-time roll as grassroots educators on the importance of resource recovery.
What is being a volunteer like?
- Volunteer as little or as much as you’d like
- Get into concerts and festivals for free
- Monitor trash and compost separation stations
- Spend time composting with local students
- Join the growing ranks of community grassroots educators
- Help collect leaves for local composters
- Make compost and have fun!
- Get a free COMPOST CREW t-shirt
So what kinds of things do Highfields’ Close the Loop Volunteers do?
1. Event Volunteer
As a CTL Event Volunteer, interacting with people will be your primary objective. You’ll be standing next to a separation station (i.e. trash, recycling, & compost bins) ensuring that the proper waste makes it to the proper receptacle. Besides your work at the separation station you’re an event-goer and your admission to any event that requires an entry fee is covered. Once you have finished your volunteer shift at the event, the rest of the time is yours, free and full of fun.
2. School Volunteer
As a school lunch compost monitor you’ll assist with implementing a new food scrap composting program at a school in your area. After a brief orientation to the program you’ll be hanging out with young folks during school lunch sessions ensuring that students throw their food scraps in the compost bin and keep trash out. The school compost program adoption period lasts about seven weeks and your assistance during that period might be as little as one lunch a week or everyday during the full seven weeks depending on your availability.
3. Community Volunteer
Close the Loop community volunteers will work with community composting efforts in or near their home communities. Currently community volunteers help with several leaf drop programs. Leaves and yard debris are important sources of carbon for composting and there are a lot of them! Composters use leaves in their compost mix for their carbon. It is important that the leaves that composters use for their compost are clean (free of plastic wrappers, soda cans, and other inorganic materials) so that they can be composted without contamination. As a community volunteer your main objective will be to visually scan leaves dropped off at one of a couple locations in Vermont. You’ll talk about the beautiful weather, make sure that the leaves being dropped off are clean, and refuse leaves that are too contaminated with trash.