Hi I’m Kira and I work with schools in
Hennepin County to help them set up organics and recycling programs. Today
we’re gonna focus on sorting in the cafeteria. At lunch we sort our waste
into three categories: recycling, organics and trash. This video will help you learn
which materials to put in each bin. First let’s talk about why we recycle. Items we
recycle can be made into new products. For example this metal can can be made
into another metal can, while this plastic bottle can become
carpet. It’s also an easy way to help the environment. Making things from recycled
materials saves energy and reduces pollution. Organics recycling is another
great way to give back to the earth. Food scraps and compostable paper like
napkins are collected at school picked up by a truck and taken to a compost
site. At the compost site yard waste like leaves and tree branches are mixed
together with the food scraps. This mixture is laid out in long piles that
are ten feet tall. That’s as high as a basketball hoop. In less than a year the
pile breaks down into a material called compost, which looks like dirt but has a
lot of nutrients to give back to the soil. Organics recycling is important
because it gets our food waste out of the trash and puts it to better use. Now
let’s learn what goes into recycling, organics and trash. We have some high
school students here to help us. Before you go to the weigh station take all
your food out of plastic wrappers and sort what’s left on your tray into
trash, recycling and organics. This will make things go more quickly when you get
to the bins. Put your fork and spoon into this bin. Dump any leftover milk or liquids
into this bucket. Why do I have to empty my milk carton?
Have you ever smelled sour milk? We don’t want to have the recyclers deal
with it. Along with milk cartons, empty and recycled juice boxes, cans and
plastic bottles. However put the juice pouches into the trash. If you haven’t
done so already, empty remaining food from plastic cups onto
your tray and put the cup into the recycling. Put any plastic wrappers,
plastic forks or plastic spoons into the trash. What about my plastic bag? Ziplock
bags can be reused or thrown in the trash. If you’re not sure where an item
goes, throw it in the trash. Dump your food and napkins into the organics bin.
Your compostable spoon can also go in the organics.
It’s made from plants, not plastic. Is my string cheese compostable? Yes you can
put meat, fish, cheese and yogurt in the organics recycling. Don’t throw any
plastics or foil in the organics bin we need to keep the compost clean since it
is used in our Gardens. The last thing you need to do is stack your tray if
there’s no place to stack your paper tray, it can go in the organics bin. It’s
as easy as that. Help us protect the earth by composting and recycling!