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Turner High School students making big impact with small lunchroom changes

Posted at 4:48 PM, Oct 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 17:48:17-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Turner High School students haven't been wasting any time when it comes to making changes in their lunchroom.

This school year, Turner started a new composting program — because when you serve hundreds of meals to hungry students every day, the trash piles up. 

"It was always really alarming from my freshman year. It kind of just upset me that so much was just being thrown away and we aren't doing anything with it," said Turner High senior Maria Ramirez. 

Schools across the country produce a tremendous amount of trash and food waste. Last year, Turner generated nearly 300,000 pounds of waste at lunch every day. 

"I was shocked that such a little procedure could have such a big impact on our waste stream," science teacher Jennifer Thomas said. 

Students made signs that say "Compost" and "Waste" to get their peers to throw things in the right bins. The school also partnered with Missouri Organics, which picks up the compost regularly. 

"We are reducing our lunchroom waste bound for the landfill by at least 80 percent," Thomas said. 

This year, Turner hopes to reduce the trash sent to the landfill by 44,000 pounds. 

The project is part of the Healthy Schools/Healthy Community grant from the Kauffman Foundation. It will continue next year.