Academy of Alameda
The Academy of Alameda (formerly Chipman Middle School) seeks to develop socially responsible students aware of their ability to affect the world. The schools boast an active and engaged parent community and talented teachers working together to engage students in environmental projects like campus beautification and campus recycling. The school’s focus on social, economic and environmental sustainability is on display in the school garden and the waste sorting stations located throughout the campus.
On February 18, and 2010, students from Chipman Middle School conducted an audit of their blue bin recycling program designed to divert paper away from the landfill and into the commercial recycling stream. Over 70% by weight of the items in the bins were found to be the mixed paper for which the blue bin system was designed. The major contaminant in the system was food waste and food soiled paper which accounted for about 17% of the weight in the bins- with milk containers representing a particular challenge.
Chipman has a separate CRV system to collect bottles and cans and relatively few bottles and cans (<10% by weight) were found in the paper blue bin system.
In a limited waste audit of breakfast waste garbage bins destined for landfill, students found that food waste accounted for 74% of the waste, 11% of materials were found to be recyclable and the remaining 15% were items properly destined for the landfill. Schools in Alameda are now begining the implementation of food scrap diversion to reduce the amount of food waste headed to landfill.Chipman Waste Audit Data 2010
Chipman Middle School is implementing a new waste diversion and waste reduction program this year. A key feature of the Chipman effort is an array of waste reduction stations across campus. Located in the common areas and hallways, these stations offer students many alternatives to sending items to the landfill. Each station matches a garbage can with a green bin for food waste, a CRV container for bottles and cans, and a separate blue bin for all other clean recycleable materials.
To help call attention to the emphasis on recycling, students in Chipman's art class have designed and painted artwork on the lid of each CRV bin. To help reduce contamination, students need to lift a lid to put paper and cardboard into a recycling bin. The campus is also working to get lids for the green bins to help make the proper disposal of green waste a conscious action and further reduce improper disposal of plastic wrap and other garbage. Teachers, custodial staff and students all help to make sure that the proper items are ending up in the correct container.
A team of energetic 8th graders monitors green bins in the cafeteria, while teachers monitor classroom bins. Custodial staff are taking an active role in helping to sort misplaced materials.
Each bin comes with a picture based label to show students what should be placed in each bin. "Its amazing to look into the bins and see that the students have embraced the system just months after its been implemented," said science teacher Diane Montgomery "We see relatively little contamination in the bins- I'm thrilled that we're able to help our teachers, students, and community do the right thing."