Five "green" mothers at a New York City public school district have made a big impact.
The parents at Manhattan's Upper West Side helped create a pilot composting program at eight public schools that diverted 450 pounds of food waste per day from landfills and reduced the volume of cafeteria garbage by 85%, according to a news release.
Each day, the schools separated and composted food waste that included meat and dairy, kitchen scraps and sugar cane food service trays. Since the program began in February, the eight schools also combined to eliminate more than 1,900 Styrofoam trays from the waste stream.
The moms met through the all-volunteer District 3 Green Schools Group in 2009 and continued to meet monthly to share ideas about how to reduce waste.
"The idea that the mothers got together and we've reached this point, where we've seen a major reduction in the waste that has to go to landfill, the least environmentally sound way to get rid of waste, is incredible," NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said in a statement. "They started this program and, we're hoping that in the fall, when the new school season starts, we're going to have 20 schools in this district mirroring what was accomplished here."