Trash Party at AB!

   Rebecca's holding ALL of the lunch trash in one small
   black bag...after sorting out the recyclables,
   compostables and styrofoam trays!   photo: Ann Sussman
Our TRASH-SORTING PARTY was a blast! 
We generated lots of fun...and lots of interesting data. And we heard from Senator James Eldridge about policy measures being considered in the Massachusetts legislature to boost recycling and reduce solid waste (see here for more information).

Click here for a video news report of the event by Acton Patch, and here for a National Wildlife Federation blog postAnd here for great photos.

And yikes! We found that 58 pounds of lunch trash from 6th period lunch was sorted to:
  • 48 pounds of recyclables and compostables
  • 5 pounds of styrofoam trays
  • 5 pounds of trash remaining
Senator Eldridge speaking about recycling legislation  photo: Ann Sussman
We sorted everything into the categories below (see the attached spreadsheet at the bottom of this page for more details):
    • recyclable containers (mostly beverage)
    • compostable food waste
    • compostable paper  (napkins. etc.)   
    • liquids
    • styrofoam trays
    • other solid waste
We'll use this data to inform a planning process underway to see if we can improve our capture rate of recyclables in the cafeteria.  And we'll plan another trash audit soon for classrooms and offices.  More to come!

Who knew a Trash Party could be so much fun!?!?!
Thanks for a great time, everybody!

Here's the invitation we sent out ahead of our Trash Party:

ABRHS Green Council Resource Team's                                     

Down and Dirty Party! 

Tuesday November 29th at 2:30pm right after school we will be throwing a very messy trash-sorting party at the dumpsters at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School….please join us!                                             

We are about to undertake a major audit of the school's solid waste! The ABRHS Green Council is a group of students, faculty, staff and community members who meet monthly to plan for progress towards the esteemed Green Flag Award for sustainability. The Resource Team is part of this effort and is focusing on harvesting the compostable and recyclable materials currently being disposed of in the trash. Perhaps the yuckiest, and definitely the most entertaining, portion of the trash audit is the cafeteria trash!  So on Tuesday November 29th we will be diving into the cafeteria trash armed with rubber gloves, rain boots, cameras and cheering from supporters! We invite you to stop by and witness the madness or to don some combat gear of your own and join us. This waste audit will reveal a treasure trove of data which is currently covered in muck. We plan to uncover specific numbers which will shed light on exactly how many valuables we are sending straight to an incinerator. We're hoping to have hot drinks and snacks for supporters---and we’ll hide a few prizes in the trash bags---so stop by and help us to make this mucky job a fun one!

When:  Tuesday November 29th at 2:30pm  (rain date:  Friday, December 2 at 2:30pm)

Where: The ABRHS Loading Dock Dumpsters (Fitness Center entrance on the Hayward Road side of the school)

Who:    Resource Team, Green Council and interested teachers, students, staff, community members

What to Bring: appropriate clothing and we would much appreciate extra tarps and buckets of all sizes

For more information, contact Kate Crosby, Energy Advisor, at

See you at the dumpsters!

Subpages (1): Cafeteria Project
Kate Crosby,
Mar 11, 2012, 4:10 PM
Kate Crosby,
Jul 12, 2012, 9:07 PM
Kate Crosby,
Mar 11, 2012, 4:07 PM