A waste audit of the whole school is the usual first step to get an idea of the makeup of what is actually going into those wheelie bins. This involves saving all the waste for a week and sorting it into all the different types, paper, cans, food etc and weighing all the different types. Usually this job is done by an external Agency such as Waste Watch, Global Action Plan or Resource Futures. The figures help to determine a plan of action.
Implementing the plan
A most important first step is to simply reduce the amount of waste. With a little thought a ‘clean streamed’ waste management system can easily be put in place, instead of mixing up different materials they can be kept separate and thus easily recycled. This reduces the amount of waste to be landfilled dramatically.
Food waste reduction
Some schools are now trialling the Swedish system of letting primary school children help themselves to food. This way they take what they will actually eat rather than having that dictated to them by the dinner staff. This can result in less food being cooked in the first place and less to compost.
Some schools prepare the fruit break snacks too, cutting up into bite sized pieces makes it easier for the children to eat and there is less wastage.
Just by doing the waste audit shows how much food , and what sort is being wasted and that in itself can inform the catering staff how to prevent some wastage.