School Recycling and Food Recovery

WasteWise and another USEPA Progam, the Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), provide structure for recycling and food recovery programs in Wellesley Public Schools.  The Katharine Lee Bates Elementary School (Bates) became the first K-12 school in New England to participate in the FRC, and the Town of Wellesley is an FRC endorser.  In Spring 2016, parents from Bates School, the SEC and Natural Resources Commission (supported by the FRC, WasteWise the Bates School Principal, the Facilities Management Department, and Wellesley Food Services) conducted a comprehension assessment of all waste leaving the Bates School cafeteria.  A detailed description of the design and results of that audit appear in the Bates Cafeteria Waste Assessment report.  

The findings of the Bates Cafeteria Waste Assessment led Bates School to implement a recycling and food recovery program in its cafeteria, with important support from Superintendent, David Lussier, FMD, Food Services, and parents.  The program includes recycling of plastic, cardboard, paper and aluminum products, diversion of liquid waste to an anaerobic digestion facility at Deer Island, a share table, and the rescue of leftover, edible food from school lunches for delivery to the Wellesley Food Pantry.  Shortly after its roll-out in Fall 2017, the principals and parents at Fiske and Sprague Elementary Schools brought recycling and food recovery to their cafeterias.  

Wellesley Public Schools also participate in the Food Rescue Network.

In March 2017, Marybeth Martello, SEC Administrator delivered a national webinar through the EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Web Academy EPA's Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy.  

Bates Cafeteria with Recycling
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In Spring 2017, Bates Elementary School received the Secretary's Award for Energy and Environmental Education from the State of Massachusetts, in recognition of the School's recycling and food recovery program.  Students and staff traveled to the State Capitol to receive the award.  

Sprague School received a Green Team Award, in Spring 2017, for their efforts on recycling and food recovery. 

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Click links below, to view slides from the EPA SMM Webinar and other presentations on School Recycling and Food Recovery