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Schools Learn Commercial Composting

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EUGENE, Ore. — From green to greener, students are back at school and some are learning how to commercially compost.

At Adams Elementary School students aren’t just learning about going green. They are implementing a new green program.

Adams Elementary and Spencer Butte Middle School are serving as pilot schools in the 4J district for the city of Eugene’s Love Food Not Waste Program.

It starts in the classroom where a bin is set aside for composting and students learn what can go in it.

It’s emptied daily and a student is assigned to take it out.

The compostable items are then picked twice a week and can be transformed to compost within two months using a natural process.

Already, Adams Elementary School is noticing a difference. The school custodian says there’s less garbage to take out.

“He took out one big trash can after all the school lunches, and he says that on a normal basis he takes out one and a half to two. So with implementation of the program they are already seeing that trash is being reduced,” said Stephanie Scafa with the Love Food Not Waste Program.

The goal is to keep 3,200 tons of trash out of the landfill.

All this waste won’t be headed to the landfill. Instead, it will be composted. We are also told that Willamette High School in the Bethel School District is also considering this program.

2 comments

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  1. Jack Hoeck says:

    Wow this is great all you have to do is collect it and it is composted. Does it compost by itself in the container?

  2. Stephanie Scafa says:

    Hi Jack,

    That is a great question that unfortunately did not get answered in this news clip; however, there should be follow-ups to this story! The compost collected from area businesses and schools by the Love Food Not Waste program is picked up by Eugene’s three primary garbage haulers (Sanipac, Royal Refuse, and LaneApex) in containers like the one you can see in this video. The haulers and the City collaborate with commercial composter Rexius Sustainable Solutions and bring all food waste to Rexius to be composted. They accept all food products (meat, dairy, bread, fruits, and vegetables), soiled paper and cardboard, and waxed cardboard through this program, keeping all of this waste out of the landfill. While compost is available through Rexius for bulk purchase, they have also donated soil to a number of community groups and area gardens throughout Eugene. For more information on the Love Food Not Waste program to see which businesses and schools are involved and how compost is created, please visit our website (www.eugene-or.gov/lovefood) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/lovefoodnotwaste).

    Thank you,
    Stephanie Scafa

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