The Edgartown and Oak Bluffs schools will launch food waste-reduction programs in conjunction with Island Grown Initiative’s food waste collection program, Island Food Rescue (IFR). According to a press release, food waste will be separated from the trash in both cafeterias and school kitchens, and will be collected by IFR and brought to Island farms where it will be turned into compost.
This program is part of a wider effort by Island Food Rescue to divert the Island’s organic waste from off-Island landfills and waste incinerators, and redirect this nutrient-rich resource to help replenish Island soils.
In 2017, IFR collected 160,000 pounds of food waste from Island restaurants and transfer stations.
The IFR composting program also provides an educational opportunity for students and families. Island Grown Schools will be expanding its food waste education curriculum, to help students understand compost, soil, decomposition, and the environmental and ethical issues surrounding food waste. Island Grown will also be doing outreach to families to explain the new program, and encourage food waste-reduction strategies at home.
The West Tisbury School, Chilmark School, and Charter School have already been separating their food scraps to donate to local farms, and IFR recently started collecting the Charter School’s food waste.
During the week of Jan. 29, IGI staff and volunteers will be in the cafeterias during lunchtime, helping students and teachers master the art of proper waste separation. To volunteer for the program or for more information, visit igimv.org.
The Tisbury School and high school will begin separating food waste soon as well.