Waste Not…..Want Not


As the school halls begin to fill up with students, so will the trash cans.  Is your program being both environmentally conscious and fiscally responsible when it comes to waste management practices?   Did you know that plastic milk bottles can help make recycling a worthwhile and in some cases, profitable, venture?   The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) in conjunction with the National Dairy Council wanted to find out what school nutrition programs are doing in the area of waste management and recycling.  The report, Recycling and Waste Management Practices in School Nutrition Programs, provides an overview of the logistical practices, costs, and obstacles associated with waste management and recycling practices in school nutrition programs.  The following are some of the key findings from the survey.

  • 63% of the programs surveyed indicate that their program is not charged for waste removal.  For the 37% of programs that are charged, the most common charge method is a standard percent allocation or indirect cost.
  • 58% of school nutrition programs surveyed recycle with the most commonly recycled material being cardboard followed by office paper and steel/tin cans. 
  • 62% of programs that recycle use the same hauler to pick up both waste and recycling.
  • Lack of recycling haulers (for programs that do not currently recycle), lack of space, and separation of materials are the biggest obstacles school nutrition programs face related to instituting recycling programs.

The information gained from this project will help SNA develop educational programs and articles on this subject.  See the “Related Links” section to download a copy of the report.  The report is also available on the School Nutrition Foundation’s website.

Related Links

Recycling and Waste Management Practices in School Nutrition Programs

School Nutrition Foundation

National Dairy Council

Nutrition Explorations


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