On May 19, viagra 2011, case Berkeley High School worked with EarthTeam and the Green Schools Initiative to audit waste stations across campus. Students studied the types of waste ending up in classroom and outdoor trash cans and they also auditied the effectiveness of the school cafeteria food scrap diversion program.
Students from three classes sorted a sampling of waste from classroom and outdoor garbage cans. Over 130 pounds of waste was sorted into a variety of categories including plastics, metals, paper, glass, foodscraps, untouched food, and landfill materials. Students discovered that over 75% of the materials could have been easily diverted by proper use of existing recycling and food scrap systems on campus. Nearly 60% of the waste was compostable and over 17% could have been recycled. Students were suprised to discover 6 pounds of unopened/uneaten food, ipod headphones, a music stand and other items that could have been reused or redistributed. Students identified better education as an opportunity to help students use the existing disposal and diversion infrastructure more effectively.
Berkeley High School has had food scrap diversion in place for over 5 years and the Waste Audit conducted by a fourth classroom showed the program is well used. Students sorted 44 pounds of waste in the cafeteria food scraps bins and discovered 15% contamination including 4 pounds of recycleable materials and 3 pounds of materials that should go to landfill. Surprisingly, students discovered a bulk tuna packet and other items that likely originated in the kitchen galley. Students plan to provide better education to staff and students alike about the proper use of the food scrap bins to reduce contamination in the future.
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