Schuylerville High School joins composting initiative

Composting station
The station where students sort their liquids, recyclables, food waste and garbage.

Schuylerville High School students are helping to reduce the district’s amount of cafeteria waste by continuing what their younger classmates started last school year. On Oct. 11, the high school kicked off its cafeteria composting and recycling program. Now, all students in the district must separate their lunch leftovers into four categories: liquids, recyclable items, food waste to be composted by a Greenwich farmer, and garbage to go to the landfill.

“The program has provided a great opportunity to educate our students about where their trash actually goes,” said Food Services Manager Sarah Keen. “We’re teaching them that not everything has to end up in a landfill.”

The Green Ribbon Schools committee began the program at Schuylerville Elementary and Middle Schools last March. When the committee approached the high school about the program, the environmental club was eager to get involved.

“The environmental club is excited to join with GRS, the food services staff and the building and grounds staff to encourage a more environmentally friendly high school community,” said club advisor Emily Flores. “Our members are helping to teach students how to separate at the beautiful recycling station that Peter Riggi and his staff created for us.”

The program is already cutting down on the amount of waste produced daily. The high school now fills less than one trash can with actual garbage, while the rest is being recycled or composted locally.

“We are very impressed and excited with the support and positive reaction we have experienced so far,” Flores said. “Students are more than willing to become more sustainable, they just need a little education and guidance.”

“This is where students develop the habits they will take out into the world,” Keen said. “I feel proud knowing we’ve taken this step in helping them reduce their impact on the environment, and I hope our small program here in Schuylerville will lead to big changes wherever our students go.”