"Litterless lunch" recycling may help schools cut costs

Recycling program hopes to reduce some of the $100,000 yearly hauling costs.

June 27—Recycling everything from plastic bottles and bags to pourable liquids and compostable food scraps, students at Ridgefield Pulbic Schools, in Conn., cafeterias have been learning to dramatically reduce waste this year.

In the next school year, that could end up saving the school system, which spends more than $100,000 a year on garbage hauling. Veterans Park and Scotts Ridge were the two schools where the “litterless lunch” program was most fully put into effect.

In its first full week of total recycling in late May, Veterans Park found that 132 pounds of cafeteria trash could be reduced to just 15 pounds to go in the Dumpster, according to Amanda Cordano of the Green Village Initiative, which pushed for and helped organize the program.

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The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of a smoothie chain.

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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Students at an Arkansas high school may have to take creative measures to get a meal, thanks to a school policy that prevents parents from dropping off lunches left at home.

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.”

While social media opinions on the school’s rule were mixed, some commenters expressed concern that...

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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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