Ocean County Press Release
LAKEWOOD – Individuals interested in becoming master composters are encouraged to participate in a composting training program scheduled in October.

Offered by Ocean County's Department of Solid Waste Management with the support of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the program will be held on two consecutive Saturdays, Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"This beneficial program is offered annually and provides a wealth of important information and hands-on learning on the importance of composting," said Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to Solid Waste Management. "I encourage anyone who is interested to not hesitate to apply, space is limited."

The 12-hour training program is provided free of charge to interested Ocean County residents and taxpayers. There is a $75 fee for non-residents. Light refreshments and lunch will be provided on both days.

The course is limited to 20 participants and the registration deadline is Sept. 29. Registration can be made by calling Mary Jerkowicz, Senior Program Monitor, at 732-506-5047.

Those who successfully complete the program then go on to assist with the county's efforts in providing residents with information on managing the organic waste they produce in their homes and the benefits of composting.

The two-day program is held at the county's Recycling Education Center at the Ocean County Northern Recycling Center, here. Sandra Blain-Snow, an Ocean County Master Composter is the instructor.

Volunteers should be familiar with gardening and composting, and have experience with speaking to small groups. Each applicant is encouraged to be sponsored by a group or organization as this ensures the opportunity to establish an outreach network for the program. Many types of groups can sponsor an applicant. Some examples are garden clubs, municipalities, and environmental commissions, recycling committees, retirement communities or service clubs.

"The Master Composter Program is a great way to learn about how to manage and reuse the organic waste that residents generate in their own homes," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "Master composters have been doing a great job in volunteering their time to help other Ocean County residents interested in composting."

Trained volunteers agree to provide a total of 24 hours of outreach, education and service to promote the benefits of home composting. There is no time frame for completion of this outreach. They are encouraged to tailor their outreach activities to their individual strengths and preferences.

"The environmental benefits of using compost are significant," Little said. "It can help clean up contaminated soil, reduce runoff of toxic materials and improve your garden or lawn."

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