2013: ALL Compost a big success at
elementary sites, Harper Jr. High also saves
The ALL compost pilot was a big success at the elementary schools
with 5 schools reducing their solid waste output by 60% or more.
Ximena Diez-Jackson, the district dRISE coordinator, estimates that
elementary schools will divert 480 cubic yards of solid waste from
the landfill, with an estimated savings of $3,000 per year. The
program has now moved beyond the pilot phase and has been officially
adopted at all elementary sites.
Harper Jr. High reports that with its innovative student-driven
recycling program, it has been able to remove one 4 cubic yard trash
dumpster, with a weekly savings of $253.
Fall 2012: ALL Compost Pilot expands to elementary sites
fall, elementary schools across Davis embarked on an ambitious pilot
program to compost all food waste as well as milk and juice cartons
from the school lunch program. The ALL
eftovers) Compost Pilot is
an extension of the Food Scrap Diversion pilot undertaken by
commercial restaurants in the City of Davis in partnership with
Davis Waste Removal, and initially piloted by Cesar Chavez
Elementary and Harper Jr. High (see sidebar story).
At the start of the school year, custodians, DavisRISE site leaders
and volunteers received in-service training and site visits from
Ximena Diez-Jackson, the District RISE coordinator. The
configuration of waste collection cans at each site was modified so
that trash was reduced to one can, compost was expanded to 2 cans,
and plastic/metal recycling and paper recycling maintained at one
can each. New patterns of student dismissal and waste sorting
by students had to be implemented at each site. A new, uniform
system of bilingual signs was created for use by all elementary
schools and some secondary schools. The effect of the compost
diversion is tracked at each school by simple daily measures of the
total volume of trash in school dumpsters. At the end of the
pilot, the cost of the compost program will be measured against the
savings due to reduction of solid waste volumes at each site.
More details on the workings of the ALL compost program will soon be
updated on our resources page.
Federal School Lunch changes and food waste
New Federal guidelines implemented in Fall, 2012 have improved the
healthfulness of school lunches . Students now have
requirements to make healthy food choices of fruits or vegetables,
but they also have to learn to eat their new healthy menu and to not
just throw everything away. Our schools faced similar
challenges nearly a decade ago when "Crunch Lunch" salad bars were
first introduced to our students.
DavisRISE is once again meeting the challenge of reducing food waste
at school lunch time by working with our Davis Farm to School (DF2S)
parent organization, Student Nutrition Services (SNS), and
individual school sites. RISE leaders can alert SNS to
commonly discarded food items so that SNS can make appropriate
changes in their food presentation. DF2S conducts taste
testing of school lunch items to help students learn to choose what
they like to eat. RISE leaders and school staff work together
to encourage kids to eat healthy lunches and to not waste
food. DavisRISE, DF2S and SNS are working on new ways to
educate our school communities about the new lunch guidelines and
2012: DavisRISE and Student
Nutrition Services coordinate packaging
representatives recently met with Student Nutrition Services (SNS)
this Fall to obtain samples of the serving ware selection for this
school year. SNS purchases a variety of trays and food
containers each year and it is most useful for the recycle team to
know in advance the types of containers that will appear during
school lunch. By obtaining samples of the container selection
ahead of time, DavisRISE can consult with our local hauler (Davis
Waste Removal) to determine if the serving ware should be diverted
to recycling, composting or solid waste. DavisRISE and SNS
plan to continue this practice at the beginning of each school year.
- On average, Americans waste 25 percent of the food they
- We throw away 44 percent of our yard trimmings and over
90percent of our wood waste.
- It's time to be part of the solution.
EPA launched its new organic materials Website. This Website
is a great place for businesses and consumers to find ways to
put surplus food, yard trimmings and wood waste to good use.
With information on the Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy, EPA's
GreenScapes program, and wood waste recovery options, everyone
can find a way to be part of the solution.
Help EPA spread the word about finding productive ways to use
Visit the Organic Materials Website at www.epa.gov/organicmaterials
DavisRISE is a program of Davis Farm to School