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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Grimmway Academy recycling honored

 

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Grimmway Academy was presented an award for their outstanding performance in recycling. They were presented the award by Supervisor David Couch.

Grimmway Academy was presented a certificate of recognition by Kern County Supervisor David Couch at a recent supervisors meeting.

The certificate recognized Grimmway Academy's staff and students for their outstanding organics recycling program, which reuses all its cafeteria waste as compost in their own garden, where students grow fresh produce.

Darren Williams, the head of the recycling program at the school, and American Refuse staff calculated weights of organic and recyclable material that was diverted from the landfill. By their calculations, it was found that Grimmway Academy reached zero waste, with 90%-92% diversion (90% is considered zero waste).

Grimmway Academy promotes health and wellness, which is extended out into the community. Classes are offered to families in the community such as family cooking night. During cooking night, tips, as well as healthy recipes, are shared. The school also offers a garden day in which families can come and learn about gardening.

This was not the first award the academy has received for its outstanding recycling program. Earlier this year, Darren Williams accepted an award from the Shafter Chamber of Commerce for its innovative program.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The scholars tend the garden in which they grow a good portion of the food that is served for lunch.

This program was begun with the desire of Williams and a partnership with American Refuse. Company leader Lynda Martin came to the school and made a presentation on what schools can do to lower their waste that ends up in the landfill, especially the organic waste. Williams and Martin worked with the staff and students to come up with a plan that would reduce their waste considerably.

Almost all of their organic waste is put to use in their compost pile that is utilized in their edible garden. This garden not only teaches the students how food gets from the farm to the table, it also gives them insight into how to make the environment a little healthier. "A number of schools in our area have been working together trying to reduce their waste that is not diverted," Martin said. "Grimmway Academy is an excellent example of what can be done with the wonderful program that they have in place. We are so proud of them for their accomplishment."

 

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