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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology, Civics

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin



Composting in Wisconsin

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  • This article explores what composting is, how to compost at home, rules and regulations for composting in WI, reducing food waste, and what materials should or shouldn't be composted. 
  • Students will learn that compost contains carbon from broken down organic materials, proper home compost should not be excessively smelly or pest-attracting, and some animal manure is not useful for composting.
Teaching Tips


  • This article includes a great poster of what can and can't be composted and a printable PDF instruction booklet on how to start composting at home.
  • It includes an interactive map of excess food, composting services, and information about composting indoors.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand how landfills and food waste contribute to climate change.
  • Student should know the difference between organic and inorganic materials.


  • This article could enhance a lesson on the carbon cycle, carbon sinks, and how both relate to climate change. 
  • After reading the article, the teacher could lead a classroom discussion on the Wisconsin government's effectiveness at expanding composting within the state.
  • This article could supplement a classroom discussion on the various ways students can fight against climate change. 
  • This article could augment a classroom discussion on how governments could incentivize businesses and citizens to become more eco-friendly.
Scientist Notes
This article covers the basics of composting, why it’s important, and how to do it. This is a good article to introduce composting and to learn about services in Wisconsin. The information presented is accurate and this is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
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