Experts from Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Management have announced a series of free organic waste reduction workshops in composting and other methods of residential organic waste control. Anyone can compost almost anything organic – from vegetable peelings to yard waste. Instead of relegating all that organic matter to the garbage can, learn how to put it to good use. You can also learn ways to make your home a “greener” place, how to reduce waste during the holidays, and put worms to work for you in your very own worm farm. • Home Composting Workshop. Learn the hows and whys of home composting, proper soil preparation and management, mulching and grasscycling. Participants take home a free wire compost bin and a booklet on home composting. (Maximum number of 20 students per class). • Make Your Home a Green Place. Learn to use natural alternatives to toxic household cleaners (cleaners, pesticides, etc.). Participants take home a booklet on toxicity reduction. (Maximum number of 20 students per class). • Giving Green: a workshop on holiday waste reduction. Learn to give green by creating one-of-a-kind gifts from re-purposed items and enjoy a more Earth-friendly holiday season. Participants take home a booklet on green gift giving and holiday waste reduction tips. (Maximum number of 20 students per class). • Vermicomposting Workshop. Learn how red wigglers can help your garden and your food waste diversion efforts. Participants have the option to take home a worm bin with 1/2 pound of starter worms. (Maximum number of 15 students per class). Classes begin Sept. 8, 2012. All classes are free and conveniently located throughout Mecklenburg County, but pre-registration is required. The deadline for pre-registration is the Monday before the class. Please select a workshop and complete the registration form for online registration or register by phone 704-336-4304. Mecklenburg County’s Master Composters Training Program The Master Composters training Program is a free 40-hour training program that is open to the residents of Mecklenburg County. Applicants must have completed the County’s Basic Home Composting Workshop and/or have a working knowledge of composting In return for the training, students are required to give back 40 hours of volunteer time to the Organics Waste Reduction Program and its projects. Past projects have included developing a school compost garden, and providing under-served neighborhoods with residential recycling training. The classes meet weekly at various locations throughout the County. For more information about the Master Composters program, including obtaining an application, contact Solid Waste Services by e-mail or call 704-201-2201.