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Solid Waste Management Education and Outreach Services

Orange County Solid Waste Management (OCSWM) offers education services to schools, businesses, not-for-profits, faith-based organizations, civic groups, governmental organizations, and the public. Services include landfill tours, compost education and compost bins for sale, waste assessments, information and display at special events, newsletters, and regular columns and advertisements in local media.

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OCSWM provides printed outreach material that describes our programs and services, and access to our extensive library of solid waste publications, local and national article archives and videos.

Composting Education

According to the EPA, up to 70% of the municipal solid waste stream is made up of organic material including paper as well as food and yard waste and textiles. OCSWM encourages businesses, institutions, and individuals to 'starve the landfill and feed the soil' by composting their organic wastes including yard waste, kitchen scraps any wet paper like used paper towels. Visit the Composting Resources page for more information about home composting.

Compost Demonstration Sites
There are two outdoor composting demonstration sites located in Orange County:

  • Orange County Solid Waste Management Administrative Office, 1207 Eubanks Rd. Chapel Hill.
  • Chapel Hill Community Center (behind the rose garden) on S. Estes Drive.

OCSWM provides periodic composting education classes using these sites, but they are for public educational use as well. OCSWM can provide outdoor composting instruction at these locations, or help set up outdoor composting that function for interested organizations, schools or businesses.

"Rot's Happening"
Indoor composting, also known as "vermicomposting", or composting with worms, provides an excellent way for anybody to recycle and reduce organic waste. Vermicomposting demonstrations are available for school, civic, or faith-based groups. Participants will investigate the anatomy and function of worms in soil, and other scientific concepts such as soil composition, chemistry, and ecosystems. We can even build an indoor composting worm-bin for your classroom or organization!

Compost Bin Sales
OCSWM is currently selling "Earth Machine" outdoor home composters at our administrative office 1207 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. These tidy looking manufactured units are $50 each. There is no limit to the number that can be purchased and you do not have to be an Orange County resident.

Landfill Tours-
OCSWM can provide tours for classroom size groups and organizations. Tours last approximately one hour and are free. The Orange County Municipal Solid Waste Landfill and recycling facilities are an excellent educational and public resource. These tours provide experience-based instruction regarding principles of modern landfill technology and anatomy, hydrology, the economics of waste management, social impacts, waste diversion strategies, and the specifics of the Orange County Solid Waste Management program including regulations, recycling processing and markets, household hazardous waste collection, electronics recycling and much more.

Waste Assessments-
Save operation expenses and disposal costs and simultaneously protect the environment by reducing waste in the first place! Solid Waste Management staff can provide free technical support for schools, businesses, civic groups, faith-based organizations and other Orange County entities to determine elements of the waste stream that can be reduced, reused or recycled. Recycling consultation services can also be provided to help ensure the success of an in-house recycling collection program or at special events.