The San Jose Conservation Corps & Charter School is partially funded by the Ameri-Corps program, a voluntary civil service program supported by the U.S. Federal Government with a goal of helping aspiring youth meet critical needs in the community. SJCC+CS develops the personal, professional, and academic skills of young adults in Silicon Valley to prepare them for a family-sustaining career.
Starting in the summer of 2020, O2Compost worked with SJCC+CS to develop a 3-bin aerated compost system to process food waste generated at their onsite community market, as well as food scraps from the public received through their community composting program. They chose an O2Compost system primarily because it would allow them to process large quantities of organic waste with minimal effort.
As reported by Monica R. "The O2Compost System has been working great for us! Visually, it is very beautiful and makes a wonderful addition to our campus. The training manual comes in very handy for new users. A group of climate fellows that we had working with us this past summer were able to use it successfully despite having minimal composting experience." Monica is a Senior Manager for Special Projects - Zero Waste Program.
SJCC+CS plans to distribute compost to urban gardeners and farmers in the San Jose area and distribute the compost to schools as part of the Zero Waste East Side program for use in school gardens.
In addition to composting food scraps, the compost system serves as an education and demonstration facility that provides hands-on experience for the students and staff. The staff at SJCC+CS has developed a curriculum that focuses on intercepting food scraps, processing them efficiently while simultaneously mitigating adverse impacts to the environment, and utilizing the finished compost in urban farms and gardens.
Their mission is to train the next generation of zero waste professionals. They believe that every material that is used and discarded should not go to landfills. Instead, these "waste materials" should be used to create more jobs, create more resources, and invest back into the community of San Jose. Visit their website to learn more about how SJCC+CS is empowering today's next generation.