Individual ketchup pouches are an environmental nightmare in school lunchrooms. The students tend to take them by the fistful, they are fun to step on, and they always end up in the source separated food waste as contaminant. So, why is it so difficult to get rid of them?
Commercial Food service providers list their convenience as the number one reason for usage.
However, convenience for Food Service Providers comes with a high price tag to the schools.
White Plains School District Food Service Director Ed Marra has eliminated individual Ketchup pouches from all schools, replacing them with refillable squeeze bottles, saving money and the environment.
And under the guidance of Laura Mungin, Principal of George Washington Elementary School, the Teaching Assistants are going even further by actually serving the kids as they want, thus making sure nobody is just pumping the pump for the fun of it. A win win situation. Students experience individual care, food is not wasted nor abused as toy, and students are learning proper table behavior.
The advantages are clear.
We Future Cycle is working for years to eliminate single service Ketchup pouches from the menu of the many districts we are working in. May White Plains GW Elementary school be a shining example that there are much better ways than giving in to the convenience of commercial Food Service Providers.
Hastings-on-Hudson has launched its extensive recycling program and is looking proudly at a 90% reduction of waste from its lunchrooms as well as a significant reduction in the building.
We Future Cycle helped set up the building to allow for source separation into paper, commingled and food waste recycling. Left as trash is really only plastic baggies and some other soiled things that do not fit into the above recycling groups.
George Prine, the Director of Facilities said that he is amazed as to how little garbage there is left. The Farragut Avenue building, which hosts the High and Middleschool of around 800 students usually generated 17 bags of loosely filled garbage bags just from the lunchroom. With the recycling station in place, it is now generating 4 bags going into food composting, 1 bag going into commingled recycling, and 1 small bag as trash. That is it.
This will eventually translate into significant savings for the district in waste management, as about 70 bags of garbage per day are not generated. Instead these materials are source separated and fed into the existing recycling streams. This saves money, and is also much better for the environment.
And we are creating a generation of Hastings students that know what source separation can do and how easy it is. Soon it will be the new normal.