Schoo Starts Composting Lunch Waste

Why Compost?

Without a compost program, organic waste from our schools is sent to the landfill, where it takes up space and can have a negative impact on the environment. When organic material is trapped in the anaerobic conditions of a landfill, it produces a harmful greenhouse gas called methane. By keeping food waste out of the landfill, we are minimizing the production of methane, and we are turning our waste into a valuable product for the community.

How Does the LPS Compost Program Work?

Before students are dismissed from their lunch table, they are asked to sort their tray into compost and landfill materials. Compost materials include:

  1. ALL food scraps: Fruits, vegetables, bread, dairy, meat, bones
  2. Paper products: Straw wrappers, bowls, napkins, cups, plates
  3. Other compostable materials: Milk cartons, plant-based bowls and dishes

Landfill materials include:

  1. Plastic: Straws, cups, snack wrappers, cutlery, bags, drink pouches
  2. Styrofoam
  3. Foil

The Results

Once a school implements the food waste compost program in their cafeteria, they are diverting both compostable and recyclable materials from the landfill. So far, the composting schools have experienced an average diversion rate of 52%, which means over half of their waste is being recycled or composted instead of being sent to the landfill. Before the compost program, some of those buildings had a diversion rate below 20%, so this program is having a HUGE impact on our waste management!

Who Will Be Involved?

While all students will sort their trays and dispose of lunch waste properly, we will ask for weekly volunteers to help ensure that lunch waste is being disposed of in the correct containers.  These volunteers will stand near waste containers and assist students in sorting materials correctly.