Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

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Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste
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Public Works intern Celeste Argueta with the food share cart at Kellogg Elementary School

Source: Santa Barbara County Public Works Department

In a partnership between the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department and Goleta Union School District (GUSD), nine elementary schools have successfully implemented food share and food scraps composting programs. This program has made a huge environmental impact by preventing thousands of pounds of fruit, milk containers, and packaged food from heading to the landfill. Program Specialist Sam Dickinson said, “Food that is thrown in the trash currently ends up buried in the landfill where it slowly releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is one of the largest contributors to climate change.”

In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, the program helps students and staff develop good habits for disposing food waste. GUSD Food Services Director Kim Leung said, “Learning extends beyond the classroom. The cafeteria is a place for students to not only be exposed to new foods but also serves as a resource for students to learn about sustainability. We are proud to be making a difference on this planet for future generations and beyond.”

With the new Food Share Program, students place unwanted qualifying food and beverage items on designated share carts so that others can enjoy them during lunch. The carts are located in school lunch areas and are managed by cafeteria staff and adult volunteers.  The County, in partnership with local environmental education group Explore Ecology, has increased student engagement by holding assemblies at participating schools.

The County Public Health Department has also helped ensure food sharing safety. Supervising Environmental Health Specialist Kendra Wise says that this program is a “great way for schools to provide additional food to hungry people while keeping safe-to-eat foods out of our landfills. The program teaches students about food safety as well as the environmental impacts our daily actions can have. Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is excited to partner with our local schools and the Public Works Department to help make this program a success.”

GUSD has also implemented a kitchen food scraps recycling program, and several schools have started pilot programs to collect student plate waste for composting. Public Works Intern Celeste Argueta has helped support these programs at Isla Vista Elementary School and Kellogg Elementary School. Argueta said, “I am extremely proud of the District’s efforts to compost student plate waste. The schools are making a positive environmental impact and are setting a great example for other schools.”

A new food waste reduction guide was recently developed for schools called Food Forward: School Edition, and provides schools with resources to start their own food waste reduction and composting programs. For more information about this resource and food waste programs, please call (805) 882-3618 or visit the County’s waste reduction website, www.LessIsMore.org.  For information on how to compost where you live, visit www.LessIsMore.org/Compost.

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a-1576224392 Nov 11, 2019 04:14 PM
Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

A fantastic program that I hope will be shared by all schools. Thank you to all involved! "With the new Food Share Program, students place unwanted qualifying food and beverage items on designated share carts so that others can enjoy them during lunch." Slaps self upside head. What a Brilliant idea! Let kids be involved, have people share, not toss!

SBZZ Nov 11, 2019 01:32 PM
Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

SBLETSGETALONG, I cannot speak for NW etc and was merely answering your question, but I am for reducing all emissions everywhere possible - including wasted food. BTW, methane is 28 TIMES stronger not 28% stronger than CO2. Also, water vapor is the #1 GHG, but it is not substantially emitted by man - again CO2 is our biggest contributor. Here is some homework for you... https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks

Luvaduck Nov 11, 2019 11:16 AM
Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

Have the kids scrape their food remains (only) into garbage cans. Someone raising hogs could slop the hogs with it and when they were slaughtered, packaged, bought to market, the cycle would repeat.

SBLetsGetAlong Nov 11, 2019 09:00 AM
Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

Methane is 28% more potent than CO2 but dissipates faster than CO2 and water vapor is the no 1 contributor to climate change. The point was that there is more than just the car that is contributing to global warming, like deforestation. Why are people only focused on one thing? We can control and change many habits from trash, to driving less, etc... Nick was harsh and small minded in not listening to other opinions.

jqb Nov 11, 2019 01:18 PM
Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

Water vapor is the most prevalent greenhouse gas but does not contribute to global warming (which is what is driving radical climate change) because the quantity isn't increasing ... and it has a short half-life in the atmosphere as it precipitates out (as opposed to the 100 year half-life of CO2).

forrestmv18 Nov 11, 2019 09:47 AM
Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

Because, of course, politics and the new theology take precedence over science. Why did Governor Brown sit and watch Porter Ranch leak more methane into the environment than any similar leak in the U.S. for 5 months before doing anything at all? He refused to even acknowledge it for several months.

SBLetsGetAlong Nov 11, 2019 08:31 AM
Goleta Union School District and County Address Food Waste

“in the landfill where it slowly releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is one of the largest contributors to climate change.” Per Nick Welsh & the Democratic Candidates of the SB City Council run the no 1 green house house cause is the car. When another candidate, Brian Campbell, said that landfills and Methane gas is a large contributor to climate change at the LWV forum, Nick wrote an article stating Mr Campbell didn’t believe in climate change. So do landfills and methane contribute to climate change?

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