Here's an opportunity to help the environment, your garden and young children all at the same time.

Buy a bag of compost from students at St. Agnes this Friday, May 17.

From 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., fifth- and sixth-grade students will host a Compost Sale in collaboration with Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management.

The "plate to garden" initiative will take place in the lot north of St. Agnes, adjacent to County Road 82. Twenty-pound bags of compost will be sold for $3 each. Proceeds will benefit the Aurzada-Tenhoff Playground at St. Agnes School.

The compost was created by Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management organics recycling customers.

Items turned into nutrient-rich compost can be added to the soil, which reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides, and also can increase water retention, allowing for more efficient use of water, according to waste management officials.

The compost can be used for commercial landscapers, road construction projects and in gardens.

Organics - food scraps and soiled papers - make up approximately 38 percent of what is still in the garbage, even after strong single-sort recycling programs, according to Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management officials.

Organics recycling is an important part of effective waste management programs, the officials pointed out. Items are returned back to nature through commercial composting, which reduces resource use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Organics recycling also reduces demand and wear and tear on local garbage processing facilities, including Pope/Douglas' material recycling and waste-to-energy facilities.