Schools in Chapel Hill and Carrboro have launched a district-wide composting program in their cafeterias.
The program started on the first day of classes in 15 elementary and middle schools. Many individual schools in North Carolina have started composting, but few districts have created their own programs.
Dan Schnitzer, sustainability coordinator for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, says the schools will be able to use some of the compost their students create.
"Our compost company that's doing the hauling will be donating compost back to the school district in the spring for our school gardens, so it would be very cool to have the kids go out in the garden, get their hands dirty, and to be able to say, 'hey, remember that apple core you through out on the first day of school? Well, it's coming back to your school in a healthy way in the form of soil,'" he says.
Schnitzer says high schools are not yet part of the program. He says high school students usually spread out across campus during lunchtime, which makes it more difficult to gather compost. The district hopes to offset the cost of hauling the compost away by cutting down on trash, and reducing dumpster fees.