SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ  -- If you are a Middlesex County resident who is concerned about the environment, now is the time to learn how to reduce waste and improve soil, right in your own backyard. New workshops are being offered to show residents how to cut down on trash and give back to the land, just by composting yard waste and kitchen scraps.

Two free composting seminars are being held at the Middlesex County EARTH Center in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick. Classes run about 2 hours and feature an overview and explanation of two composting techniques:

Backyard Composting                          Vermi-Composting (using worms)

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10 a.m. Saturday, April 5                           6:30 p.m. Monday, April 7

Please call the Middlesex County Office of Solid Waste Management at 732-745-4170 or e-mail solidwaste@co.middlesex.nj.us to register for the free workshops.

Workshop attendees may also pick up pre-purchased compost bins at the workshops. Call the Solid Waste Office before the workshop for a list of available compost bins.

The Backyard Composting seminar will introduce the basics of composting kitchen scraps and yard waste. Any backyard area will do, as long as there is organic matter from your kitchen or garden trimmings and a compost bin.

 Perhaps you don’t have a backyard of your own, because you live in a condo or apartment. You can still learn about composting and benefit from it at the second workshop, which teaches vermi-composting.  This technique is notable for having the actual breakdown of waste performed by worms in a bin.

 “I encourage residents to attend one of these informative events,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.  “Keeping conservation in mind today will ensure that the County remains a beautiful and healthy place to live.”  

 “The EARTH Center offers a host of environmental services to the County,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Here, residents can not only learn about composting, but can also purchase soil test kits, pesticide application test manuals, or submit pest and disease samples for evaluation.”  

 For more information on programs offered by the Middlesex County’s Cooperative Extension call 732-398-5260.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.