This fall, students and staff at two Bethel schools will be able to turn their lunchtime leftovers into nutrient rich compost that local gardeners can use for next year’s crops. Willamette High School and Shasta Middle are joining the City of Eugene’s Love Food Not Waste commercial compost program to recycle their cafeteria food waste into compost. All food scraps will go to Rexius Forest By Products, where they will turn into nutrient-rich soil within 90 days.
The cafeteria composting at Willamette and Shasta are part of a larger effort to make the school district healthier while producing less waste. The School Garden Project, a local nonprofit organization, will partner with students and school staff to provide composting education.
Each year, Eugene sends more than 40 million pounds of food waste into the local landfill. Half of this waste comes from commercial businesses. To reduce the amount of food waste being landfilled, the city collaborates with local garbage haulers, commercial composters, and businesses to run “Love Food Not Waste (LFNW)”. After a year and a half, more than 130 participating local businesses and organizations have diverted more than 1,600 tons of food waste.
Food waste collected by Love Food Not Waste comes full circle, and bagged compost made from the local food scraps is available for purchase at Rexius Forest By Products (150 Highway 99), Market of Choice (67 West 29th Avenue), the City of Eugene Atrium Building (99 West 10th Avenue), SeQuential Biofuels (1695 West 18th Avenue), and BRING Recycling (4446 Franklin Boulevard).
About the City of Eugene Waste Prevention and Green Building Program:The City of Eugene’s Waste Prevention program assists businesses that are working toward reducing waste. The program provides education and technical assistance to community partners interested in compost and recycling efforts.
About the School Garden Project:School Garden Project helps Lane County Schools create, sustain, and use onsite gardens by providing resources, professional consultation, and educational programming. SGP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to a future in which school garden education helps children become healthy adults who eat their fruits and vegetables, know the basics of growing food, and contribute to a thriving community.