Pine Grove and Edson Recycle strive for zero classroom waste

Last spring, Pine Grove sorted their trash and found that 94% of it could be recycled or composted. Next week, organics and recycling bins will be installed in the school. The Edson and District Recycling Society will be there on September 17, showing off the new bins and teaching students and staff how to use the new bins.

How much waste could be diverted?

The June 4 waste audit was conducted by EDRS staff and student volunteers. One week’s worth of waste was sorted into five categories: organic waste, recyclable waste, reusable waste, landfill waste, and styrofoam. Styrofoam is not currently recyclable in Edson, so must be deposited in the landfill. These categories together comprised only 6% of the waste stream; the remaining 94% could be diverted by reusing (5%), recycling (23%) or composting (66%).

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How will Pine Grove divert more waste?

Pine Grove will have a new look this year, with gold-standard receptacles in the hallways, classrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and atrium. The receptacles will have designated spots for organics and recycling, along with smaller bins for traditional landfill waste. GFL will collect the organics as part of the pilot program. Additionally, student leaders from Pine Grove and Parkland will teach their peers about what materials can be recycled and what items can be composted. They may also help bring organic waste to the pick-up location and be ambassadors at special events.

What’s next?

Kick off event: September 17

In class instruction by student leaders: September 17 – 21

Follow-up waste audit: June 2019

What about the other schools?

All students deserve the opportunity to be environmental stewards by practicing the three R’s hierarchy of waste management: reduce first, then reuse, and recycle the rest. After evaluating the Pine Grove organics collection pilot, the non-profit Edson and District Recycling Society may seek grant funding and corporate sponsorship to expand the program to other schools in Edson and District.

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