Schools‎ > ‎

Claypit Hill

Claypit Hill Rep: Wynn Calder (

School Year 2011-2012 Accomplishments

The 2011-2012 goal was to continue working with the principal, custodian and faculty to introduce a more streamlined recycling program, improve waste reduction and energy conservation. Given the lack of funding to make technical or infrastructural changes (i.e., occupancy sensors, windows, insulation, ventilation), our focus was on behavioral changes. 
Composting cafeteria food scraps (in lieu of adding them to trash) and enhanced "deep" recycling were the two principle accomplishments that were begun in September 2012.  But not without some issues.  Children quickly learned how to separate food scraps, recyclable items, and trash before leaving the cafeteria under the guidance of Green Team volunteers and Jose DaSilva, school custodian and cafeteria "angel."  While only plastic milk bottles were recycled before, now the bottles were joined by cans, plastics (e.g. straws and bowls), juice packs, tin foil, and tableware, creating a much larger volume of recycled items.  We quickly learned that ALL the bags of recycled stuff had to placed into secure toters or they would be ravaged by local fauna, breeding flies and odors.  We also  learned that our "passive", "warm, not hot" method of composting could not handle any meat or dairy;  we developed a fly problem and experienced a maggot "flash mob": during the warm fall.  So, in January, we resume composting only fruit and vegetable scraps until the fall of 2012 when we added everything BUT pizza, dairy (all forms of cheese), and meat/fish/chicken.  This proved to be the right combination for Claypit Hill.
Our first of three composting bins (the one capped in November) was "harvested" in June and September 2012.  The second bin, begun in January, was capped in June and will be harvested this spring.  The third bin, begun in Fall 2012, is almost ready to be capped when we'll  begin to use the empty first bin.  Jose has been helped by many of the children: there are often kids "guiding" others in making sure that they are composting and recycling well; a group of fourth grade girls take the scraps  to the bin, spread them, and cover them with leaves a couple of times a week.  --     February 2013