Temple Students Build More Sustainable Community With Composting Site

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On the busy blocks of Temple University's North Philadelphia campus, sophomore Mark Costanza is zipping through traffic with container boxes trailing his bike. He's collecting what a lot of us throw away.

"This is important to keep track of how much compost we're getting every month or every week and then we can kind of equate that to how much we're putting in the compost heaps back at the garden," Constanza said.

He's talking about the Temple Community Garden. It's where senior Kate Lyons recently received a $1,500 grant to begin a composting operation.

"It's a big thing in Philly to take advantage of empty lots and turn them into places where people can have more access to healthy fruits and vegetables," Lyons said.

It's not the most glamourous job, but Lyons has managed to recruit several volunteers to help collect from about 30 houses in the neighborhood around campus. She's hoping to help chip away at the million pounds of food wasted in Philadelphia each month.

Once the food is composted, it becomes soil for the garden. The students are also growing fresh produce to give out for free to the community.

"Some will want to get their free fruits and vegetables but people are genuinely really curious about what we're doing and that's great," Lyons said.
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