Ninth graders serve community by passing out composting pails


Photo credit: Sydney Tilles

Freshmen Josie White, Finley Vincent, Olivia Hallinan-Gan, Liv Karp, Natalie London, Sylvie Hacker and history teacher Meg Shirk set up the composting initiative. They passed out compost pails for food scraps to ultimately help fight against climate change.

By Sydney Tilles, Senior Reporter

Six ninth graders used one of their lunches to pass out composting pails to students and teachers around the courtyard. Community members could take to pails home the promote composting beyond Archer’s campus. This activity was part of a composting initiative and took place Friday, April 14. History teacher and Service Learning Coordinator Meg Shirk led the composting project.

Organics L.A. passed a new law that states all food scraps must now go in the green bins, such as meat bones, coffee grounds, produce and pizza boxes. Previously, only greenery could go in the bins.

Brentwood Community Council and L.A. Sanitation were looking for students to educate citizens about the new compost law and to pass out bins at the Brentwood Farmers Market, and numerous Archer students volunteered. The student volunteers passed out more than 400 pails. Seeing the Archer volunteers inspired Shirk to bring the initiative to the Archer community. She utilized her contacts at L.A. Sanitation and got 150 pails delivered to Archer.

Shirk asked a group of ninth graders who have consistently shown up for composting initiatives to help her set up the green bins. Liv Karp is passionate about composting and said she hopes teachers will put these bins in their classrooms or around the halls.

“It helps not just our kitchens and our food and our gardens, [but] the green bins go and get compost in that are put in garden and parks in L.A., which will help everybody. I think it’s really great,” Karp said.  

Freshman Finley Vincent was involved in the compost initiative as well.

“I decided to get involved with composting because it seemed like a really great opportunity, and I also really like gardening and the environment,” Vincent said. “I thought it was a great way to get involved with those two things and give back to our community [by] giving people free compost bins.”

Vincent talked about how compost reduces food waste because when the waste goes into a landfill, it emits greenhouse gases, which has a major impact on climate change.

“I do hope to continue this in the future,” Vincent said. “I definitely hope that we can give more composting bins out to people, and I also hope that we could find other ways to use soil — maybe in schools to give them gardens or just in another way that we could give back to the community with the compost.”