21 November 2008>
Pupils at Tir-y-Berth Primary School are helping to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill by enjoying a waste-free lunch.
Caerphilly county borough council's waste minimisation team has put together a toolkit to help schools plan and run a successful waste-free lunch scheme. The toolkit (on CD ROM) includes lots of useful documents for teachers, such as information on how to carry out a waste-audit and a spreadsheet to record data and calculate results. There is also a section for parents with ideas and tips on how to pack a healthy, waste-free lunch.
In Tir-y-Berth Primary, packed lunch and canteen waste was weighed on a normal day (by members of the Eco-Council and Caerphilly's waste team), and again after the school implemented some of the ideas on the disk. The effort put in by staff, pupils and parents resulted in a reduction of more than 20% (4.5kg) on just one day.
During the first waste audit they found half eaten sandwiches, biscuits and fruit – lots of money wasted! The school decided to compost leftover fruit, encourage use of reusable containers (instead of foil and cans) and hand out reward stickers to pupils who finished all of their meals. These were just some of the ideas that made this scheme a success.
Sally Everson, teacher at Tir-y-Berth Primary School said, "The waste-free lunch project was fantastic and really helped the children acknowledge the impact they can have on reducing waste in school. It is a project we are going to continue and develop alongside the school council."
If Tir-y-Berth Primary School continue with their campaign, not only will they significantly reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill, but they may also see a cost saving by reducing the number of refuse bins required.
The toolkit has been developed in partnership with Caerphilly's Healthy Schools team to stress the importance of making lunches healthy as well as waste-free.
For more information on the waste-free lunch scheme, please contact Caerphilly's Waste Minimisation Team on 01495 235428.
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