Composting Efforts

Sanipac Commercial Composting
Guy Lee began onsite composting using a traditional 3-bin system in 2010-11.  Unfortunately, food scraps were limited primarily to fruits/vegetables little made it into the Cafeteria bucket for transfer into the bin.  In the summer of 2012 by request, the district carpentry department created our recycle table.  This along with signs w/pictures & words attached to the table, made sorting of our meal waste much easier for students.  In September, a few district schools started experimenting with a new commercial compost program through Sanipac that would accept ALL food & paper related waste.  Even though some didn't continue their efforts for long, a new effort was made at Guy Lee after much thought, preparation & training.  At one point examples of items that belonged in each bucket were taped to the wall behind the table.  These later were replaced with 3D signs on round cardboard discs (the size of the bucket openings).  The hope was for the process to be simple enough that even our kindergarteners could make sense of & sort their own waste.  Our large square trash can became our 'Food & Paper' Compost & what used to be the Compost bucket our new Trash can.  Mr. Barnhart would say, "Food and paper only in the big one."  "Plastic and trash in the bucket."  Through this effort, Guy Lee is currently the only Springfield school to successfully implement the program.  We fill a 1-cubic yard compost bin on a weekly basis including our restroom paper towels.  Our cooks are also separating their kitchen compostables & plastic.
 
 Guy Lee has gone from having both a 5-cubic yard + 1-cubic yard dumpster of trash (weekly) to the landfill
to REDUCING down to having
a 2-cubic yard dumpster (weekly) + a 1-cubic yard back-up emptied (monthly) to the landfill. (as of Feb. 2015)
71.5 % of our discards DO NOT go to the landfill!!!
Go Green!

updates:
- Small blue desk-side recycle cans were added to classrooms thanks to donation from Levi Strauss Co. 
Since paper towel dispensers were replaced district-wide, we need to put new 'These Come From Trees'
decals on them to remind people to conserve towels when drying their hands.
Little hands = only 1;  Big hands = 1 maybe 2.
- Green Team might explore making decals themselves for dispensers.
May 1, 2015 - Was the first time we really needed our 1-cu. yard back-up = Due to the Carnival.
There is a fee even if the dumpster isn't used or 'on-call', so it's emptied monthly.
September 2016 - Commercial composting discontinued with change in school staff.
 
Vermicomposting  (Worms)
Thanks to a grant from 'Team Guy Levi'
Mrs. Leach', 1st graders will be the first class this year to be 'Worm Feeders'.  It's part of an effort to have different 'Green' tasks for each grade level at the school to call their own.  Since our Green Team consists of 4th & 5th graders, younger students can now feel part of the greater team & contribute.

Garden Composting on Site
August 2015, we have set-up our 3-bin system behind the school for collection of garden scraps.  We can include fruit/veggie scraps ('worm food') when the worms get overburdened.  This method calls for a ratio of 1 'greens' (nitrogen) to 2 'browns' (carbon).  Brown items could be dead leaves or saw dust.

Classroom Paper Towels
At the end of November 2013, Guy Lee added 25 Rubbermaid cans.
6"x 6" labels with the words 'Compost Towels' were attached to each can.
These are stationed by the sinks & placed by the door each afternoon for emptying.
One of the team goals was to capture our classroom paper towels for composting.
Our wonderful evening custodian, Arci Garcia keeps the trash & compost separate as she collects it each afternoon.  
Hurray!  Go Green!