The students at New Bedford Academy rescue food by forming a line at the end of lunch and sorting their lunch trays and lunch boxes out into bins. The first bin is the “Food Rescue Bin”. Students are encouraged to save uneaten items for later. If the student chooses to discard the food items that has not been opened, or eaten the item is placed in the “Food Rescue Bin”. For the initial launch of the project these items were donated to a local food bank as part of the Robotics Team’s project. Since then, the rescued food has been donated to the School’s before and after school child care program.
The next few bins are for food waste and are sorted by food group types. A parent at the school picks up the food garbage daily to feed to his many exotic and domestic farm animals. He is very pleased that his animal fed costs have dropped. He chuckled, and said that he thinks the animals like it even better than the feed.
School employees noticed immediately the drop in garbage going to the dumpster. They even began to have the students stack the trays so that they would take up less room in the garbage. New Bedford Academy’s student council president, an eighth grader, thought paper recycling at the school was the next step the school should take. The lunch trays were checked and they were also recyclable. Students were eager to start recycling. Boxes were placed in each class room to begin recycling paper. Teachers jumped on board and placed boxes for recycling in the lounge and workroom. The principal arranged for a replacement of the schools 8 cubic yard dumpster with a 6 cubic yard dumpster, and two 96 gallon recycling totes.
This project began as an effort to keep one banana from going to the landfill and continues to have an impact on many other areas of the school. The Science Club has committed to a few projects about ecology for the spring. Student Council is busy planning projects for Earth Day. Everyone seems to be paying a little more attention to the importance of protecting and appreciating the environment. New Bedford Academy has documented their project on Facebook at “New Bedford Academy Food Garbage Rescue Project”. They invite you to “like” their page and to continue to follow their journey.
New Bedford Academy
Food Garbage Rescue Project