In our efforts towards school-wide zero waste, we have launched a new lunchroom composting program that is expected to keep much of lunchroom waste from entering the landfill. Pioneering this program with Clean Ocean Access and its Healthy Soils Healthy Seas project, Pennfield will now be able to compost the majority of its food waste rather than send it to the Johnston landfill.
For the three weeks prior to implementation of the new system, ECCO (Environmental Club and Composting Organization) members have been weighing and recording how much trash, recycling and composting the school lunchroom produces. Since beginning the new composting program, early numbers indicate that the amount of trash now going to the landfill per day is less than half what it was, and what remains is mostly food packaging.
With the ECCO members overseeing the recycling in the lunchroom, and participation with COA’s HSHSRI composting program, the hurdle that remains towards zero waste is packaging, particularly single waste. The ECCO club believes that the solution to single-use packaging is simple: all you have to do is search for sustainable, affordable, and reusable options.
At current rates, Rhode Island’s only landfill is set to be full by 2034. This looming deadline calls for further action, and school lunchrooms are the perfect place to implement new strategies for reducing our waste.
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