FoodCycler Food Waste Diversion Project
Students in a grade 1/2 (16 students) and a grade 2/3 class (20 students) composted all of the lunch food scraps. Their three teachers supported the classes in making observations regarding the reduction of waste in the classroom, within the context of a garbage audit in which food waste was weighed.
The funding and the FoodCycler itself were both obtained in the spring, with the FoodCycler arriving in time for only one week of food weighing. The lunch waste that was run through the FoodCycler and diverted from the landfill weighed a total of 3.154kg.
From the FoodCycler: “The FoodCycler for Schools is an indoor compost alternative which transforms food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer (we call ‘foodilizer’!) for the garden. In 4-6 hours, this compost food recycler will reduce food waste volume and weight by up to 90%, leaving a dry, odourless and sterile by-product which can be safely handled by students and teachers. The FoodCycler for Schools provides authentic, hands-on learning opportunities for students of all ages, which can be easily connected to curriculum. It can be used to complement units of study on solid waste (i.e., food waste, waste reduction). It can activate research into the science of decomposition or an inquiry into the benefits of compost. Use the fertilizer from the FoodCycler to amend soil for your indoor plants or school gardens and watch them flourish! By using a FoodCycler, you are keeping your school (or organization / household) food waste out of landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% vs. sending it to the landfill.”
To learn more: https://outdoorlearningstore.com/product/foodcycler-for-schools/
The funding and the FoodCycler itself were both obtained in the spring, with the FoodCycler arriving in time for only one week of food weighing. The lunch waste that was run through the FoodCycler and diverted from the landfill weighed a total of 3.154kg. Food waste is a major contributor to climate change, and diverting classroom food waste from the landfill, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95%. More importantly, fostering a sense of wonder and awareness around food waste will provide a lifetime of waste reduction for many of these young learners. Students were excited to measure their progress along the way by weighing food that went into the Foodcycler and considered the benefits of food waste diversion in relation to climate change. Students also considered composting and decomposition as part of their study of lifecycles, which is part of the grade 2 BC curriculum.
Reflection & Celebration
Extrapolating over the school year, the FoodCycler is projected to divert at least 36 weeks worth of food through the school year, which will result in 114kg each year. This could easily be doubled if more classes contribute to the FoodCycler and the FoodCycler is run several times through the day. We project that we will divert 250kg from the landfill throughout the next school year through the use of this one FoodCycler.