Hand Middle School in Columbia, SC, is initiating a pilot project to compost its lunch trays rather than tossing them in a landfill or going to reusable trays, reports the local WSPA news channel. The trays, made from bamboo and sugar cane by Pactiv Corp., will be scraped and bagged at the school and delivered to Columbia’s municipal compost station. There, they will be broken up into chips and added to the compost mix. At the end of the six-week pilot, the project will be assessed to determine whether it should be extended to other schools.
Hand Middle School is hoping that the higher cost of the compostable trays is offset by labor and energy savings and reduced landfill fees. The school, which has an enrollment of 946, was selected for the pilot because of its environmental activism. The school already recycles paper, cardboard, plastic and metal cans.