Local schools turning cafeteria food scraps into compost

15 schools in 4 districts part of OCRRA Food Scrap Recovery for Compost program

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - More and more local schools are joining the newest form of recycling in our community.

Over 6,000 students from 15 schools in 4 districts are part of OCRRA’s Food Scrap Recovery for Compost program.

Cherry Road in the Westhill School District is just one of the participants.

Click here for a list of all the school and business participants.

4th Grader Grace Bergett explains, "You come in from recess and then you sit down and you eat your lunch and then once you're finished you take all your stuff and then you do compost, recycling and trash, but you only do it once."

OCRRA comes in and works with the custodial staff at these schools to develop a trash station that works best for their needs and cafeteria.

The agency also helps with display boards, signs and different receptacles to make it easy for students and staff to know what food scraps can be recycled.

Cherry Road Elementary Teacher Kassie Appel tells NewsChannel 9, "The 4th graders went into all the classrooms and they told them what to expect, what they could compost, what they couldn't compost, what the process was going to look like why we even compost, what it does for our environment."

Many of the schools that do it have seen an 80 percent reduction in their trash, down from 10 bags a day to 2 bags a day.

The food scraps are taken out to OCRRA’s state of the art composting facility in Amboy where all of this waste is turned into compost.

This nutrient-rich material helps residents and businesses in the community grow healthy plants, while reducing the need for watering and chemical fertilizers.

OCRRA Recycling Specialist Theresa Evans says, "Composting is the next frontier of recycling, its the next version of recycling, taking a material we have a lot of that would be trash that would be waste and turning it instead into something beneficial to the community."

In 2016, OCRRA processed over 12 million pounds of food scraps at the Amboy Compost Site.

You can purchase this material at OCRRA’s Amboy and Jamesville Compost Sites by the cubic yard or with a site pass that allows you to take away 3 cubic yards of compost.

You load it or they’ll load it, depending on the type of pass you purchase.

In addition, OCRRA Compost can be purchased by the bag at over 30 retail locations in our area.

Click here for a list of where these retail locations can be found.

 

 


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