Going Green at Washington Elementary

Students at Washington Elementary in San Leandro are making lunchtime a “green” activity. Most students purchase a school lunch every day. The amount of trash produced with each lunch is HUGE! Many items come wrapped in plastic. Washington was lucky to receive a grant from Stop Waste to implement a food scrap recycling program this school year.

During lunch, adults supervise students sorting their lunch trash into these categories: landfill, liquids, recycling, food scraps/dirty trays, uneaten fruit, and clean trays. Students from kindergarten to 5th grade now sort their plastic and get in line to finish sorting their trash on their way out to the playground. The students are feeling more and more confident each day and are need very little help from adults. The number of full trash bags has been reduced from 6-9 per day to just 2 bags of landfill trash for 450 students!

Every day scraps from the salad bar are fed to worms in the ACES after school program. Students are learning how to care for the worms and use their castings in the garden.

The students are excited to be doing something for the environment each and every day. Lunchtime is now “green” at Washington Elementary!

By Lindsey Roberts