Langley schools leading way on organic waste

Recycling program ‘not always easiest, but the right thing to do’

By 2015, Metro Vancouver will refuse organic waste at all waste stations.

With that in mind, Langley School District was trying to get ahead of the game when it implemented the organic waste diversion program last year in almost every school.

The pilot program started at Walnut Grove Secondary and Fort Langley Elementary because students at both schools came to the district, demanding it do better with its waste disposal.

Since those students championed the project, it has been rolled out at 80 per cent of schools in the district, said district administrator Debby Sansome, who was in charge of the waste diversion program. The waste diversion won an award from Metro Vancouver earlier this year.

“We have done so much more compared to other districts. We amazed the Recycling Association of Canada,” said Sansome.

“It’s not always the easiest thing to do but it’s the right thing to do.”

Schools got rid of their garbage cans in classrooms and opted for the three-bin system around the school site, which offers a container for organic waste, one for mixed recycling and one for garbage.

Green Teams, made up of students, were set up at each school involved in the hope they could help promote a new way of looking at garbage.

SuperSave has been chosen to take away the organic waste because of its close proximity to Langley. Its plant is in Delta.

The waste will be converted into turf, said Sansome.

But there have been challenges with the conversion that everyone is facing. Mainly it is fruit flies. Most schools had a terrible time with fruit flies around the organic waste. Other challenges included resistance from some schools, challenges with the unions on handling the bins and not having enough stations.

Sansome said the district ordered more stations for next year and liners should help with the fruit flies.

There is no word on the cost of the stations.

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