Partnering with Schools
Let's inspire the youth! From composting in the lunch room to taking a school to zero waste, we have you covered.
Composting is nature’s version of recycling. Instead of taking a can of pop and turning it into a new can of pop, composting takes food and turns it back into soil for which new food grows from. As the area’s only commercial composting farm, our company can compost all forms of food waste, including dairy and meat; wet paper, napkins, and cardboard; yard waste; and compostable serviceware. We take your waste and turn it into nutrient dense soil that gardeners and farmers use throughout our community.
Over half of what’s in the landfill is compostable. A common misperception is that these materials pose no harm in the landfill because they simply break down into dirt. But in reality, landfills materials are compacted with a layer of dirt each day, which creates an anaerobic environment. This is a fancy way of saying: oxygen can’t get to compostable materials — which is needed to break them down — so a head of lettuce can take 10-25 years to decompose. In the meantime, it’s putting off methane gas, which is 80 times worse than CO2, and reducing the lifespan of our landfills.
Our school efforts focus on the compostable waste produced in the cafeteria. Here’s the step-by-step process in how we’ll launch your compost program:
- Review waste materials produced in cafeteria.
- Categorize them into appropriate waste stream: landfill, dual-recycling, EnergyBag, glass, compost.
- Define scope of waste diversion effort.
- Explore potential to convert non-recyclable/compostable items.
- Determine level of support from administration and kitchen staff.
- Incorporate correct color coding and signage onto waste bins.
- Colors: Blue = Recycling / Green = Compostables / Black = Landfill.
- Signage: Use of appropriate Recycle Across America stickers.
- Upon launch of program, Hillside holds orientation to familiarize staff & students with color coding, signage, and 101 on the need and process for composting/sustainability.
- Students participate by separating their waste at the source into correct bins.
- Depending on school’s chosen services, bins are arranged in following order:
- Compostables, Recycling, EnergyBag, Landfill
- These are arranged in a line from most sustainable to least.
- Custodial services take in-house bins and empty contents (without a plastic bag) into Hillside’s 64-gallon totes or 2-cubic yard dumpster
- Hillside picks up contents at least once a week, and cleans out totes with a can washer during the warm months.