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Public Works

School Food Waste Diversion

Reducing Food Waste at Your School

Ever wondered how much food is wasted at your school? Student food waste audits are a quick way to learn which kinds of foods go uneaten by students in a school cafeteria. The data gained from an audit can help schools develop specific strategies to reduce wasted food. Most importantly, the audits identify why the students are throwing certain foods away, which can help schools develop strategies to encourage students to eat their nutritious meals.

The US Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency collaborated to develop a Guide to Conducting a Student Food Waste Audit. The guide is intended to help educate students about the amount of food they waste in their school cafeterias and to encourage them to reduce waste. Schools can also use the Metro-wide food waste contract if they are interested in having food scraps collected at the school. For more information contact Metro Public Works.

Earth machine composter

Compost Bins for science education and school gardens

Metro Public Works supports Metro Nashville Davidson County area school composting efforts with education programs and backyard compost bin program. Composting is a fascinating way to observe the process of decomposition first hand. Students are able to observe their food and yard waste as it is processed by nature's recycling crew: worms, Roly poly bugs, and other tiny decomposers.

Interested in composting at your school? Apply online for a compost bin.

  • WHAT: Davidson County public and private schools may apply for a compost bin. The Earth Machine compost bin comes with instructions. The bin is open to the ground to allow worms and other decomposers to enter the bin and decompose yard and food waste and has a screw-on, tight fitting lid.
  • HOW: Your class can compost just leaves and garden clippings, and they can add the fruit and vegetable remains from their lunches and watch it all change into mulch over a period of time.
  • WHY: Students will have a first hand view of decomposition at work and will learn about this natural form of waste disposal and reclining.