February 22, 2012
A new initiative from Albemarle County Public Schools is designed to help students learn how to save the Earth.
Currently, the Commercial Composting program is being implemented at Sutherland Middle School, with hopes of having it in schools nationwide soon.
"It's the right thing to do, and it helps the planet," said Gage White, a student at Sutherland. "We live on the planet so we should help it."
Program leaders are helping students decide what they can put into the composter. With the program still in the early stages, Sutherland has already gone from filling six large cans with trash to less than two that are mainly filled with plastic.
The benefits from the program include reducing the cost of trash removal, reducing the use of landfill space and greater environmental awareness and education among students.
"Our hope is that the kids get excited about the process, that we can tap into their energy and teach them some life long learner skills that will serve them and the community for years to come," said Assistant Principal Tracey Jones Saxon.
Students are also composting meat and dairy for the project. This allows for less waste, which translates to less trash collected.
"The school has done a great job with diverting a lot of waste just within the first week. If they do the same thing for a month we are going to divert three tons per month," said of Lindsay Snoddy, of the Building Services Department.
Although the program is in its pilot phase there are plans to spread it to all 27 Albemarle County schools.