How about joining my guitarist-singer in a chorus of the word "garbage" and the song "Dirt Made My Lunch."
That's what Stan Slaughter, a Missourian billed as the "ECO Troubadour," invited South Tama Middle School students to do on Wednesday, Nov. 6. It was part of his program promoting the value of composting. He said material suitable for composting make up 25 percent of what goes into the nation's landfills.
Slaughter told students compost was a man-made material which fit the "Big Picture" of the life cycle.
Stan Slaughter sings a rendition of a song about dirt during his presensation to South Tama Middle School students on Friday, Nov. 8 at the gym in Toledo.
Chronicle photos/John Speer
His aim was to promote more composting because of its value in reducing the amount deposited in landfills and what it can do for people in their own backyard.
Iowa and 19 other states do not allow grass clipping and leaves to be deposited in landfills. Slaughter showed slides of one of his hobby-voations in which he "steals" and stores bags of leaves left curbside to use in his own home compost operation.
The presentations were sponsored by the Tama County Solid Waste Disposal Commission and the East Central Iowa council of Governments. Kristin Simon, ECICOG Solid Waste planner, said programs promoting ecology have been offered in area schools for several years at the elementary level.
They are now being offered at the middle school level.
In addition to song, Slaughter employed a microscope attached to a computer to project images of live worms on to a screne. With the visual he explained the importance earthworms play in the composting process.
Slaughter touched on the Dodge City, Kan., cattle slaughter operations and what was done with byproducts of the operation to illustrate what was done to compost that.