Three photos of receptacles for landfill waste, compost and recycling, respectively

From food scraps to aluminum cans to plastic cutlery, lunchtime at a K-12 school generates a lot of waste. However, not all that trash needs to go to a landfill. 

In a joint effort, staff members at EcoSafe, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, and WAXIE Sanitary Supply, San Diego, worked alongside school staff to drive sustainability efforts at Beulah Payne TK-6 Elementary School in Inglewood, California. 

Leading the efforts were Jason Sanders, national manager for EcoSafe, Daniel Redick, regional program manager for EcoSafe, and Jeff Kothe, WAXIE senior account consultant. The partnership successfully eliminated waste through student education and streamlined waste management.

Efforts included a “Free the Napkin” campaign in which designated staff, known as “Eco Heroes,” taught students to begin trash sorting efforts at the cafeteria table. The Eco Heroes further ensured proper trash sorting by guiding students through the process at compost, recycling and landfill stations set up by WAXIE and EcoSafe.

“This partnership with EcoSafe and WAXIE is extremely helpful with teaching our students to become more eco-friendly and be a part of the solution,” says Sylvia Branch, principal of Beulah Payne. 

WAXIE and EcoSafe also worked together to set up the indoor and outdoor eating areas with EcoStation collection stations with appropriate signage. In addition, they consulted the custodial staff to implement more efficient transportation of sorted trash from the eating areas to the school’s Dumpsters throughout the day. 

“The EcoSafe program has immediately reduced the amount of trips I was making to and from the Dumpsters during lunchtime,” says Kenny Murphy, Beulah Payne custodian. 

Prior to the program’s launch, approximately 30 to 40 bags of single-stream trash were collected each day. Within a day of starting the program, that number was reduced to just two bags of landfill.