Students at Montera Middle School recently examined their cafeteria waste to measure the effectiveness of the school's recenlty implemented food scrap diversion program. First students examined the material in the green waste bins to make sure that students were properly sorting their green waste, then they examined the trash cans to learn what more needs to be done to approach zero waste at lunch.
Students were happy to discover that the food scrap program is diverting a majority of the waste away from landfill with nearly twice as much material headed to composting vs the landfill. Furthermore, they were proud to find that the sorting stations are effectively separating compostable waste with relatively little contamination of non-compostable materials. Students did observe that there were still compostable materials in the garbage stream and they hope to continue peer education to further reduce the amount of material sent to landfill.
The school's head custodian also reports a high degree of satisfaction with the program as the additional bins have eliminated the need to constantly empty and refill garbage cans during the school's two lunch periods.
The leadership students plan to use the data in efforts to improve the program and to help train other students to act as station monitors during lunch.
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