On October 3, VSB Education Centre staff headed down to the cafeteria to kick off the district's organics program. Staff dropped off their garbage cans and picked up a cup of coffee. The garbage can swap means all Education Centre as well as school-based staff will now be diverting large amounts of waste away from the landfill.
"Ensuring that we are doing our best to minimize our impact on the environment is a primary goal of the Vancouver School Board," says Rob Wynen, a Vancouver School Board Trustee.
The first phase of the program was launched in January of this year with three schools running a pilot organics sorting program. Schools participating received sorting stations and posters and informational resources that will help students and staff differentiate between compostables, mixed containers, refundable containers and materials destined for the landfill or incineration. The program will be fully implemented by January 1, 2015 when Metro Vancouver's organics ban for landfill comes into effect.
If the program is successfully implemented, staff estimate that the district may be able to divert up to 90 percent of the waste currently going to the landfill from schools.