Sunday, April 24, 2011

Checking in with Minnetonka High School

Minnetonka High School relaunched its organics program two weeks ago with new signs and new stations.

"3 (compostables), 2 (bottles and cans), 1 (trash), you're done" was the slogan they were using, based on what was used in the elementary and middle schools.

The idea behind stacking the Styrofoam trays was to save space in the trash bags.

After 1 week, Andre and I went back to weigh the lunchroom waste to compare it with the pre-launch waste back in March.

Lots of recycling going on.

Lots of organics were collected in one week.

This 96-gallon cart was just about full, and at each lunch 4 of these carts get used.

Styrofoam trays.

On this return visit, one week after the relaunch, the stations had been modified -- actual items (e.g., milk carton, chip bag) were taped onto the respective organics and trash signs. Other aspects of the program needed tweaking as well.

Overall the relaunch has been successful, with 18 bags of trash vs. 60 bags of trash previously, and 235.5 pounds of organics diverted from the waste stream (trash was still 137.5 pounds but was 468.3 pounds last month before the relaunch). But that was with adults present at each lunch, monitoring the bins and helping students sort their stuff, so the real test will be when we go back in 1 week to do another weigh-in after the kids have been monitor-less for 2 weeks. Stay tuned!

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