David Starr Jordan Middle School is one of three middle schools that are finalists in a countywide competition to reduce the amount of trash schools send to landfills.
Months ago, Jordan students began participating in a competition overseen by Grades of Green, an environmental nonprofit that works with the sanitation districts in Los Angeles County to promote environmental education.
Over time, students already involved in a club on Jordan’s campus known to pick up trash after lunch began educating other students by informing them in classroom presentations about which bins on campus should be used for recyclables, trash or compost items such as orange peels or salad.
The students were also told to stack their Styrofoam lunch trays off to the side, instead of placing them in a general trash bin. By disposing of the stacked trays separately, the school was able to significantly reduce the number of trash bags it sent to the landfill because the trays no longer took up so much space in a bag with other trash items.