When Livermore High's AP Environmental Science students poured out the waste bins in the science quad and examined what they threw away at LHS, a large portion of the material was compostable or recycle-able cardboard food trays from our cafeteria. Take out the trays, and the waste stream reduced by nearly 50%.
Fast food restaurants do this already by supplying a place for customers to stack their trays.
This started APES/Green Engineering students on a project to design and build tray holders that would fit the tops of the school's recycle stations. The simpler-the-better. Clear signage, coordinated school colors, strong materials. Angles, assembly surfaces, and attachments points were all designed and a prototype was built.
If everything works as planned, students would not need instruction. The use of the tray should be intuitive! The prototype is generating stacks of cardboard trays,demonstrating proof of the concept.
The next step was to coordinate with custodians. Head Custodian, Mr. Malaca, indicated that custodians will appreciate hauling a smaller quantity of material to the trash compactor, and that the cardboard trays will be taken to the paper/cardboard bin for reycling.
Republished from The LHS Recycling Blog