Waste Recycling for School Cafeterias

Starting in early 2012, eight New York City public schools were able to reduce over 400 pounds of food waste each school day, cutting the amount of cafeteria garbage being sent to landfills by over 85%.

This innovative program was created by launching a partnership between the participating schools and the parents association. For each cafeteria meal served, volunteers and cafeteria staff separated food waste including meat and dairy as well as compostable food service trays made from sugar cane. Prior to the program’s launch, styrofoam trays were utilized for serving food, thus creating more garbage.

Based on the success of the program and the waste disposal savings experienced by the participating public schools, it is expected that over 20 schools will launch similar programs for the following new school year. Switching from styrofoam to recycable food trays reduces demand on landfills, and composting as much food waste as possible reduces waste disposal costs making it a winning combination for both the school system and the sanitation department.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you operate a cafeteria at a school, hospital, care facility, or corporate headquarters you can always find “waste” in your waste! Making simple changes can help to save the environment and your operating budget!