Students Help Turn Food Waste Into Compost

First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

An ambitious group of high school students from San Marino has had a successful start to its service project dedicated to composting for the sake of the environment.
With the mission of helping reduce the amount of methane emissions released from food waste decomposing in landfills, Compost Culture has provided San Marino, Pasadena and South Pasadena residents with a curbside pickup service in which they can fill bins and compostable bags with their food waste each week for collection.

The collected waste is then taken to the gardens of the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens and turned into soil filled with rich plant nutrients and beneficial organisms — also known as the composting process.
Oftentimes, people want to reduce their carbon footprint but lack the resources to do so. That’s why student volunteers like Elizabeth Bercaw, Maddy Gregg and Gianna Repetti aim to make living sustainably as accessible as possible.
Bercaw is a junior at San Marino High School, Gregg is a junior at La Salle College Preparatory and Repetti is a junior at George Washington University Online High School.
Compost Culture offers a curbside pickup service in which residents need only to collect their scraps and leave their bins out the morning of pickup. This service requires a monthly fee of $15, as Compost Culture is a nonprofit organization. It also has a drop-off location at the South Pasadena Farmers Market every Thursday from 4-6 p.m. To sign up for its curbside pickup services or to get information about composting, visit

Now in his 25th year at The Tribune, Mitch Lehman is Editor and Sports Editor in addition to being the public address announcer for ten sports programs at San Marino High School. Mitch is one of only a handful in the community to receive the ‘Very Special Person Award’ from the San Marino PTA at the annual Founder’s Day ceremony, was acknowledged as a 'Terrific Titan' by the San Marino High School PTSA, was named an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of San Marino and received a National Honorary Merit Badge in Journalism from the Boy Scouts of America. He has received two independent Pulitzer Prize nominations and in the past three years, Mitch has won seven awards and is a thirteen-time finalist in the California News Publishers Association's Better Newspapers Contest. In 2015, the press box at Titan Stadium was re-named 'Lehman's Loft' in his honor. You can reach Mitch at

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