Via the Illinois Recycling Association’s Material Matters Newsletter.
Instead of throwing away their food scraps from breakfast and lunch, East Alton District #13 students are participating in a Food Scrap Pilot Program. The food scraps are collected and composted to become food for plants. This Food Scrap Pilot Program is sponsored by the Madison County Green Schools Program and takes place in the East Alton Middle School, Eastwood Elementary School and Washington Early Childhood Center, all in East Alton, IL.
All three East Alton schools currently use single stream recycling. For the pilot program, the students empty their food waste into a compostable bag that is the lining of a 65-gallon rolling tote. The full totes are taken outside the buildings and picked up three times a week by Always Green Recycling (AGR). AGR transports the totes to St. Louis Compost, Belleville, IL where the scraps become plant food (compost) in 180 days.
“We are very honored and excited to be selected for Madison County Food Scrap Pilot Program,” stated East Alton District #13 Superintendent, Mr. Virgil Moore. “With the addition of food composting to our already established single-stream recycling program, the East Alton School District will come very close to achieving zero waste. These programs allow our District to realize a significant reduction in operating costs while, at the same time, teaching our students to be responsible citizens.”
The program kicked-off on America Recycles Day. After only one and one-half months into the program, over 6.48 tons of food waste has been diverted from the landfill. The program is a partnership between the Madison County Green Schools Program, Madison County Health Department, Always Green Recycling and St. Louis Composting.