Calif. schools compete in Trash-Free Lunch Challenge

Schools challenged to reduce waste by 70%.

Nov. 5—Three Redondo Beach schools will be among 16 Los Angeles area schools that will have a big assignment this school year—to cut their lunchtime trash by 70%. They will compete in the county's second annual Trash-Free Lunch Challenge, a contest that rewards schools for reducing lunchtime trash.

The Redondo Beach Unified School District campuses competing include Beryl Heights Elementary, Birney Elementary and Washington Elementary.

The competition, sponsored by the Sanitation Districts of L.A. County (Sanitation Districts), and created by the environmental non-profit group Grades of Green, teaches kids how to reduce trash by switching to reusable lunch containers and water bottles with cloth napkins.

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Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

The department noted that it had traced earlier outbreaks of hepatitis A to strawberries imported from Egypt. But it warned that supplies may still be in the freezers of other foodservice operations...

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The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

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Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

The vegetarian shaker is made using produce from a nearby organic garden. Sofie Garcia, an employee in...

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