Bremerton School District expands school recycling program
(Port Orchard, WA) - On October 3, 2011 the West Hills STEM Academy will kick off the Fall launch of the Food to Flowers lunchroom
organics recycling partnership program with Kitsap County Solid Waste
Division and local recycling company, New Day Recycling. Naval Avenue Early
Learning Center successfully piloted the program during the 2010-2011 school
year, diverting 5 tons of recyclable material, and 6 tons of organic waste
from the landfill.
The program works by collecting leftover food and
food-soiled paper from the school lunchroom and kitchen, thereby diverting
it from the waste stream. New Day Recycling then transports the collected
material to Emu Composting Facility. At Emu, the food and paper
scraps are composted into a nutrient-rich, natural soil amendment.
The Solid Waste staff will be present during lunchroom
periods to provide technical assistance during the first week of the program. Student Monitors will assist the students on proper
sorting of their waste into the appropriate containers for recyclable
materials, garbage, and compost.
The school recycling program goals are to reduce the amount of waste,
increase recycling, raise community awareness about composting and waste
reduction, and give students hands-on experience as environmental stewards.
180,000 tons of garbage is generated annually in Kitsap
County, with a conservative estimate of 20% being food waste or other
organics. 500 pounds of waste is generated per week in an average sized
school lunch room, with 85% being food and food-soiled paper. The Food to
Flowers program helps divert this material from landfill disposal.
The district will continue the partnership with the
remaining elementary schools: Armin Jahr, Crownhill, View Ridge, and Kitsap
Lake, as well as Mountain View Middle School and the district’s Central
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