The Bend-La Pine School District recently expanded its cafeteria composting program to Pine Ridge Elementary and Bear Creek Elementary. The program is meant to help the environment and educate students about sustainability.
“I thought it was just something people did for fun or whatever, but when I joined the team I realized it’s way more than that and it’s actually about saving the planet and how important that is,” 5th grader Sharlie Rosenberg said.
The program has already been in place at six other schools around Bend- La Pine. But because the district serves more than 11,000 meals a day, educing food waste as much as possible is a major goal.
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“This is brand new to Pine Ridge. It’s been going on for about two weeks. The district’s been looking to see how we can expand our composting program. It’s been really great that we started with this idea of how do we reduce our food waste first. That’s the whole idea with any waste management, reduction is the first thing and then what you do with the waste afterward,” Sustainability Coordinator with the school district Jackie Wilson said.
The effort is led through student “Green Teams.” Their mission is to reduce how much food ends up in the trash, educate their peers about recycling and more sustainable alternatives such as using metal silverware instead of plastic, and stacking paper dishes to decrease waste volume, reducing the need for garbage bags.