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Food waste recycling program earns award from county
Posted 06/21/2017 02:31PM

Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak presents Mary Mueller with the Outstanding School Award.

Fridley Public Schools was awarded an Outstanding School Award by the Anoka County Abatement Advisory Board for the district’s Café Recycling/Organics program. The award was presented to Mary Mueller, district Director of Nutrition Services, at the May 17 board meeting by Commissioner Jim Kordiak.

The program is currently used at both Hayes and Stevenson elementary schools. Stainless steel sorting stations are centrally located in the cafeterias. When students are finished eating, they take their trays to the sorting stations and follow signs and examples pinned above three receptacles to sort their refuse: recyclable (containers), organic (food waste) and trash (any non-reusable elements).

A day at Stevenson alone showed the amount of cafeteria waste had decreased by 79%, above the state average of 65-70%. 12% of refuse went directly to recycling, while 67% was of an organic nature and compostable.

“We began our program in February at Stevenson,” Mueller said. “Then we carried it over to Hayes after spring break.”

The program has grown better than Mueller anticipated, and has had excellent participation from both staff and students.

“The older kids help the younger kids. And in the fall, the 4th graders will move on the middle school and start implementing the program there.”

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