Ocean County Press Release
LAKEWOOD – Ocean County will offer its Master Composter Training Program on two consecutive Saturdays this fall.

"We want to encourage our residents to sign up for this program," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the county's recycling program. "Attendees are provided with the tools to be master composters and the opportunity to teach others in their communities about the importance of composting."

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. 27 and Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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 Oct. 5. For more information and to register contact Sandra Blain-Snow, Recycling Program Aide, at 732-506-5047 or by email at sblain-snow@co.ocean.nj.us. Registration can also be completed online by filling out and submitting an application at www.co.ocean.nj.us/recycle and clicking on Composting. Select Master Composter Volunteers from the drop down menu.

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. Blain-Snow, who is also 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," Little said. "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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