In California’s Los Alamitos Unified School District, students are gaining a better understanding of how to create a more sustainable environment. Each month, all six of the district’s elementary schools participate in a program in which they recycle 12,500 lunch trays to help reduce waste. With the support of major companies like P & R Paper Supply, Dart Container Corporation and NEPCO, the schools’ polystyrene foam lunch trays are transported, processed for recycling and transformed into reusable materials. The combined efforts make up what Los Alamitos Unified refers to as the Going the Extra Mile Program.
Initially started in Corona in 2008, Dart Container’s successful recycling program captured the attention of a number of schools in the California area. As many alternatives for polystyrene foam are expensive, schools sought ways in which they could recycle foam lunch trays in a sustainable and affordable manner. Thanks to P & R Paper Supply volunteering to transport used trays to Dart Container at no additional cost, the school district is only required to pay for the pickup of trash bins.
School cafeterias across the United States use inexpensive single-use foam #6 food trays to serve hundreds of meals every day. By developing foam recycling programs, schools can save money and make a positive impact on the environment. Suzanne Morales, food services director at Los Alamitos Unified, stressed that “It [is] important to contribute to the preservation of the environment and show students that there are little things that have a big impact.”
We commend Los Alamitos Unified’s Going the Extra Mile Program for recycling over 300,000 trays last year.
Source: Orange County Register