Keep me composted

August, 2019

SARANAC LAKE – Food waste can now be turned into rich organic material thanks to new composting systems located at three North Country locations.

Lake Placid Central School, The Wild Center and Hermon Dekalb Central School now join the North Country School Camp Treetops in their sustainability quest with locally designed and manufactured composting systems.


The new systems, which were installed recently, allows the schools and their local communities to process about 200 pounds of organic matter each day. In a month’s time the organic matter waste is turned into nutrient-rich compost.

The composting machine, which systems are housed in retrofitted 40-foot shipping containers, were purchased in part with funds from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling Green Schools Grant Program.

The estimated cost of one composting machine is around $30,000, plus $10,000 for the shipping container, according to a press release.

The composters are estimated to offset close to nine metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually — the equivalent of removing two vehicles from the road.

t all started with North Country School Camp Treetops’ model composter, built in 2017. The initiative was part of a pilot project funded through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Cleaner Greener Communities program.

The NYSERDA Cleaner Greener Communities program is a four-year $100 million initiative aimed at moving communities in New York state toward a more environmentally sustainable future.

The program encourages New York State communities to develop regional sustainable growth strategies in fields like energy efficiency, emission control, low-carbon transportation, renewable energy and other carbon reductions.

North Country School Camp Treetops’ composter has become a shining example of large-scale sustainability within the community.

Read the full article in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.