School girl holding food tray in school cafeteria

Food-sharing tables, composting and garbage container inserts for liquids are some of the strategies Stamford, Texas, officials are considering to reduce pounds of waste and recycling produced each year in its schools.

Dan Colleluori, supervisor of recycling and sanitation, said Stamford’s public schools produced 2 million pounds of trash and more than 1 million pounds of recycling in 2017-18 and it cost more than $67,000 to dispose of the waste. It’s an expense the city expects to rise, according to an article on The Houston Chronicle website.

Colleluori, concerned parents and Chartwells, the district’s dining services company, are examining ways to reduce the weight of school trash.

For instance, 25 garbage container inserts have been ordered for cafeterias in schools and the government center. Leftover liquids can be poured into the liners that are then emptied down the drain. Considering the weight of liquids, the inserts could reduce waste by up to 10 percent.

Before the recent waste-reduction push, Chartwells implemented a “Waste Not” program designed to track, measure and reduce food waste during the preparation process. The program is launching this month in secondary schools in the district.

Chartwells is also talking with school officials about starting a food recovery program. The initiative would donate unopened foods to other students in the school through a “sharing table” or shared refrigerator.

The city is also considering investing in other cost-saving measures — such as compost containers for schools — to reduce waste.

Read the full article.