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Beecher Road School Diverts A Ton of Food Waste From The Trash…Literally

Now that the Beecher Road School community has 3+ months of cafeteria food waste diversion under their belts, we took some time to ask the children and Beecher Community about how they felt the process was going.

“I think that it’s working because there isn’t just one option for trash.  There is an option for donating food and for composting food waste.” -4th grade student

“Our generation needs to do this; we have to be better than the previous generation.  I’m glad we don’t waste as much.”  – 6th grade student

“It’s pretty easy to do and it is good for the earth.  The food scraps and recyclables will otherwise get burnt and pollute the air.” – 3rd grade student

“I think it’s working because when you see how much food waste there is and how much goes in the donation box, you can see how much we were throwing away before.  When you think about that, you realize that we were doubling the amount that went into the trash and the landfills before.” – 6th grade student

“It’s good for the environment because no one wants all of that food from so many kids at school at the dump and it’s good to respect the environment.” -3rd Grade student

“It’s easier than I thought!” – 4th grade student

“I love composting because it is good for the Earth!” MAG 1st year student

“I am so proud of how the children are learning to do this and keeping up the good work every day.  They have adapted to the change and are understanding the deeper concepts behind why it is important to be mindful of our waste.  The teachers and staff are also doing an admirable job with reinforcement.  I am so excited that this is happening in our community!” – Beecher parent

In the month of September, 1,100 lbs. of food scraps were diverted from the trash.  In October, 1,375 lbs. of food scraps were diverted.  In November, another 1,375 lbs. of food scraps stayed out of the trash.  Meanwhile, weekly boxes of unopened foods and beverages have been donated, via Haven’s Harvest, to our own Woodbridge residents who are experiencing food insecurity.  This is a huge off-loading from what was previously being thrown in the trash.  It is mind-blowing to consider that almost 2 tons of food waste have been diverted from the trash in 3 months.  We are definitely taking steps in the right direction.

Throughout Beecher Road School, you will find children rinsing their plastic yogurt and snack containers so that they can place them into the recycle bins.  Dried out markers are being collected in several locations to be sent out for recycling.  (You may send your dried markers in as well.)  And children are anticipating the start of a Green Club!

Additionally, the Green Team has been collecting gently-used Halloween costumes at the north and south entrances of the school, as well as at Rise and Grind on Litchfield Turnpike throughout the month.  These will be sold next fall at community events, promoting the idea of Rebuying.  We continue to sell Reusable stainless-steel water bottles and travel mugs for $17 cash/$18 credit with either a Beecher or Woodbridge logo on them, encouraging the reduction of single use plastics.

Keep an eye out for a BRS Green Team table at local holiday craft fairs in Woodbridge and Bethany.  The Green Team will be selling crafts created from Repurposed and Refurbished materials.  A little bit of creativity, imagination and holiday spirit are going into the making of these unique items (Bags, games, jewelry…).  Funds raised will go towards another water bottle filling station near the North Gym—Being able to Refill water bottles helps decrease single use plastic.

Beecher’s Green Team promotes waste awareness and living by the many Rs:  Rethink, Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Repurpose, Rebuy, Rot, Rain Barrel, Repair, Refurbish, React, Recycle, etc.  We will continue to encourage thinking of the possibilities, thinking of the consequences, thinking of the future…before acting.

Working together we can reduce our footprint.  By becoming more aware of what we are wasting and sharing ideas with our children and with each other we can make change.  Each individual small action, added together, can make a huge impact on Beecher Road School, Woodbridge, and the Earth.

From the Beecher Green Team by Hillary Drumm

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