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Cambridge Green Schools Initiative (CGSI) Expands Composting Program!

composting_content.jpgFebruary 7th, 2012 was a special day for the Cambridge Green Schools Initiative (CGSI). The District’s fifth elementary school, the Tobin School, joined the "Food to Flowers" lunchroom composting program!

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Department of Public Works (DPW) to implement composting in our schools. DPW’s Recycling Program Manager, Meryl Brott, has been working on recycling and composting in our schools for many years now, and we are lucky to have such a dedicated champion,” said Kristen von Hoffmann, CPSD Sustainability Manager.

The Tobin community has done a terrific job embracing this new program and learning how to compost and continue to recycle in the lunchroom. With support from custodial and kitchen staff, school administrators, teachers, students, and parents, composting is off to a great start!

One of the main goals of the Cambridge Green Schools Initiative (CGSI) is to reduce the District’s waste. Composting helps to achieve that goal because food that would otherwise be trash is returned to the earth.

Specifically, the food and dirty paper collected in the cafeterias are trucked to a local Massachusetts farm and composted. The Styrofoam trays and bowls go to special recycling program at a high school in Boston to be upcycled into new trays. The recyclables are collected and sold to companies that make new products from the material.

Composting is also underway at the following schools:

King Open (began in March 2009) Peabody (began in October 2011)
9th Grade Campus (began in March 2010) Cambridgeport (began in November 2011)
Graham and Parks (began in November 2010) CRLS kitchen and Culinary Arts Program kitchen, which began in January 2012

From March 2009 through January 2012, Cambridge Public Schools have kept over 34 tons of food scraps and dirty paper out of the trash.

composting_content2.pngThe Cambridge Green Schools Initiative (CGSI) was launched this past September 2011, and is run out of the school department’s Office for Sustainability. The program involves environmental initiatives across the district in the categories of Products, Food, Energy, Waste, and Greenspace. CPSD Sustainability Manager, Kristen von Hoffmann, is the Director of the Cambridge Green Schools Initiative.

If your school is interested in composting, please contact Kristen at 617.349.6856 or Meryl at 617.349.4836.