Common Ground Fair Features Portland Cafeteria Initiative
The new cafeteria recycling and composting initiative in the Portland Public Schools will be featured at this year’s Common Ground Fair in Unity. Students and a parent will talk about the initiative on September 21 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the fair’s Young Maine Speakers Tent.
The presentation will describe how the district has phased out the use of Styrofoam trays and reduced cafeteria trash by 50 to 80 percent through recycling and composting food waste. Students at Reiche Elementary School, Lyman Moore Middle School and Portland High School will participate in the presentation along with Susan Webster, co-chair of the Waste Reduction Group that has helped spearhead the effort.
“We hope our presentation will encourage more school districts to take similar steps,” said Webster.
Recycling and composting of cafeteria waste has begun in nearly all of the district’s mainland schools during the past year. Students involved in school Green Teams have helped implement the initiative by teaching their classmates about the recycling procedures.
The Portland Public Schools is replacing Styrofoam trays with paper board trays, and eventually plans to switch to reusable plastic trays. Read more.