ILSR Launches Composting Demonstration Site in Maryland High School

Date: 6 Mar 2018 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR is collaborating with AP Environmental Science teacher, Elizabeth Levien at Montgomery Blair High School (MBHS) to facilitate a student-led composting demonstration site. MBHS is the largest and most diverse high school in the state of Maryland. The project is part of ILSR’s work to support a distributed composting and food waste recovery infrastructure in Montgomery County.

A photo from an Eagle Scout service project building the 3-bin system for the MBHS demonstration site.

In 2016, ILSR helped pass Bill 28-16, “Strategic Plan to Advance Composting, Compost Use, and Food Waste Diversion in Montgomery County,” which requires the county to develop a diverse and distributed plan that considers food rescue, backyard composting, community scale composting, on-site institutional and commercial composting, on-farm composting, and local use of compost. In 2017, ILSR released our new Hierarchy to Reduce Food Waste & Grow Community that highlights the importance of community scale composting sites. The site at MBHS will showcase a composting program run by students in sync with its school garden. The intent is for the program to become a model for other schools and other community scale sites in the County.

A question from the training ILSR co-director Brenda Platt held at MBHS in advance of the demonstration site.

The MBHS composting system is a 3-bin model based on the Urban Farm Plans Compost Knox design. Eagle Scout Justin Davis of Maryland Troop 1441 built the system as his Eagle Scout project and donated all materials and labor. The Montgomery County Sierra Club is supporting the student training program provided by ILSR.

This month ILSR’s Brenda Platt started training AP Environmental Science class students. Check out her online Kahoot! Composting Quiz. Students are learning the basics of composting and will design the program and how to document its impact (via videos and data collection).

A photo from the training ILSR co-director Brenda Platt held at MBHS in advance of the demonstration site.

To follow this project or learn more, contact Brenda at

Follow the Institute for Local Self-Reliance on Twitter and Facebook and, for monthly updates on our work, sign-up for our ILSR general newsletter.

Avatar photo
Follow Brenda Platt:
Brenda Platt

Brenda Platt directs ILSR's Composting for Community project.