Schools made an effort to have a trash free lunch last week, and lowered the amount of waste discarded in cafeterias as a result.
The district wide effort was initiated by Andover High student Shelby Ganem and her mentor Elissa Iwanicki. Ganem is taking an Environmental Sustainability Internship Course. During one day at West Middle School, all three grades only collected nine pounds of trash.
Parent volunteers originally ran the Zero Waste Program, but this year the district took it over. According to West Middle Principal Becky Franks, the trash levels have been significantly reduced since the program was introduced last year.
“Before the Zero Waste program, we were collecting close to 16 bags of trash per day,” Franks said. “Now we’re down to two, two-and-a-half.”
Trash Free Lunch day was a competition for the different classes to see which grade could have the least amount of waste.
In the school cafeteria, signs were posted explaining which items are to be recycled, which are composted, and which are trash. Student volunteers monitored the trash cans to make sure that kids were putting the right pieces in the correct bin.