Community Action Marin teachers and staff are excited by a new partnership with waste management and recycling company Recology Sonoma Marin to divert food waste from the landfill through food recovery and composting.
Michelle Fox, Director of Early Education at Community Action Marin, expressed her enthusiasm for the project, which will also introduce recycling practices into the agency’s early childhood education curriculum: “We are thrilled to be working with Recology Sonoma Marin to lower our waste footprint and comply with SB1383 for a healthier community and environment. Our teachers are very excited to introduce composting and recycling practices into their early childhood education curricula. The next topic in our Creative Curriculum is actually on recycling so the timing is perfect for us.”
This initiative is in part spurred by a California state law that will require all businesses and residents to divert food waste in this manner by January 2024. The new law (State Bill 1383) has generated significant attention as residents, businesses, and others work to ensure a clean waste stream for pickup and divert as much from the landfill as possible.
The innovative partnership is being rolled out at Community Action Marin’s three Novato Children and Family Services’ locations: Hamilton Children’s Center, Meadow Park Children’s Center, and Lynwood Children’s Center. Andreza Barriola, a Teacher in the Hamilton preschool classroom shared, “Children are so excited to learn to identify different kinds of trash, and what they can do to help the environment.”
Recology Sonoma Marin resource recovery experts will visit these early education center locations to meet with teaching and custodial staff. Classroom visits and real-life recycling experiences in the classroom will connect concepts with practice.
Recology Sonoma Marin will also provide compost receptacles which will be located at each site next to the dumpsters where trash and recycling is stored. There will be one covered and labeled compost bucket for each classroom/office and stickers to place on current receptacles in each room for regular trash, recycling and “paper towels only” for bathroom receptacles. Stickers and signage will be in English and Spanish with pictures of items that go in each receptacle so the children can learn how to compost/recycle and work on literacy as well.
Meilin Tsao, a Waste Zero Specialist with Recology Sonoma Marin who invited the partnership, commented on the initiative: “Community partnerships with agencies such as Community Action Marin are so important to us, because they allow us to go beyond just waste reduction. We have a chance to visit the classrooms and talk to the children and their families about composting and recycling, which builds a better future for all.”
Learn more about Recology Sonoma Marin and its efforts to help lead the resource recovery industry to a greener future by investing in renewable energy, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, and pursuing advanced collection and processing technologies.