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Parkway schools piloting compostable lunch trays

Six Parkway schools – Bellerive, Craig, McKelvey and Ross elementary schools along with Northeast Middle and North High School -- will begin a pilot program to discontinue the use of Styrofoam lunch trays. The program kicks off the week of September 24. 

As part of a grant project funded by the St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, Parkway will begin testing the use of a much more environmentally friendly tray. The new trays are made of 100% recycled paper fibers, are 100% compostable, and are made in America at a facility in Hammond, Indiana. 

As a result of the trays being compostable, this pilot will be accompanied with a commercial composting service. This service will allow disposing of the trays along with food scraps in separate yellow bins that will be transported to a local composting facility. The discarded trays and food scraps will then be composted into nutrient rich soil. 

This process is much more environmentally preferable than to disposing into a landfill. The waste is turned into a usable product that can go back into the earth. Another environmental benefit is that this form of composting doesn’t create methane like in landfills. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. A third benefit is that the trays are made from recycled materials; Styrofoam on the other hand is a petroleum based product.

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