Giant composters catch on

August, 2019

by Aaron Cerbone

TUPPER LAKE — Three new industrial composting systems have been installed at or in cooperation with local schools in Tupper Lake, Lake Placid and De Kalb Junction this week. It’s the latest in a series of state-funded compost projects that started at North Country School and Camp Treetops three years ago.

The locally designed and manufactured composting machines turn food waste into rich organic material using feedstock from Lake Placid Central School, Hermon De Kalb Central School in St. Lawrence County and the Wild Center nature museum, which has partnered with the Tupper Lake Central School District.

This process reduces the amount of methane gas produced by the school’s food waste, allows the schools to use the resulting compost material in gardens and fields, and saves the schools money on tipping fees at landfills.

The grant money for these installations comes from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Cleaner Greener Communities program, a four-year $100 million green initiative, through the Adirondack North Country Association. NYSERDA partnered with Director of Facilities and Sustainability John Culpepper from North Country School in 2017, who worked with contractor Greg LaClair in Upper Jay to design and produce a cheaper, more effective and contained composter.

“NYSERDA was so happy with the outcome of that one project that they allowed us to fund three additional composters,” said Jennifer Perry, the sustainability project coordinator at ANCA.

Read the full article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.