By Danny Reyna
The Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. David’s Women’s Center added fruit waste and coffee grounds to its recycling program in January of 2012. Since that time we have recycled 120 pounds of organic matter in addition to recycling plastic, glass, paper, aluminum cans and cardboard. Families appreciate getting a good snack at the Family Room in between visits to their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, so there is no shortage of material to be composted!
The organic matter that is recycled is taken and added to compost piles like the one above. There it is watered, turned, and solarized until it becomes excellent compost like the one below.
When I was a young boy, my dad, Manuel C. Reyna, always had a compost area in our yard. His was different in that he used to dig a hole in the ground and add the organic material into it.
One of my jobs was to help rake and make big piles of leaves. Then he would want me to march on them until I would beg off to do something else. I wondered if dad just wanted to keep me busy or if he really needed me to do that. Now I think it was a little of both. He would add these broken up leaves to his compost piles/holes.
I don’t make the families and volunteers march on leaves, but with a little encouragement and reminding, the families who use the Family Room are great at recycling all the different material. Sometimes I notice that just when they are going to dispose of something they hesitate to see if they can recycle it instead. For many it is a novelty and some really take it to heart.
We will continue to take care of our little corner of the world in 2013. Thanks to all of you who are busy helping Ronald McDonald House Charities take care of their corner of our world!