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A more accurate headline would be, “Parent Asks District to Find an Alternative to Foam Lunch Trays,” but I guess that is not as catchy. Even that is misleading, because this petition is a result of hundreds of discussions over the last few years with parents, teachers, and students, who would like to see less waste in the lunchroom. We felt that it is time to stop complaining and ask the district to come up with a viable alternative.
We are also not aggravated with the school for no longer recycling the trays. As you can see from the third point in the petition, I acknowledge that due to the ratio of the cost of transit to volume of material, the recycling of polystyrene foam food service ware has proven to not be an economically viable alternative. It is not the district’s fault that recycling Styrofoam is not a good business model. However, now that recycling is no longer an option we are asking the district to explore some other alternatives. They are quick to respond and say, the “cost analyses of an environmentally-friendly alternative, would cost $800,000,” but they don’t go into any more detail about that alternative, nor do they give the cost of what the county currently spends on 30 million trays a year; trays that the children use for 20 minutes, and then are transported to a landfill where they sit for 500+ years.
So, yes, we are questioning whether or not there is a better alternative, such as possibly create jobs by hiring people to wash reusable trays. In the grand scheme of things, this is obviously not the most pressing issue of our time, but people who make a difference in this world start where they are, ask questions, and look for solutions. Right now, I am a volunteer at my children’s elementary school, and I am asking, “Can we do better?”
Last login: Friday, October 5, 2012