Wednesday, June 13, 2012

GreenRU Helps Student's Compost Crusade: Ninth Grade Student Lilly Brown Wins the Cafeteria Food Waste Fight

This story is from back in April, but it's great.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (April 17, 2012) – Lilly Brown is trying to change the world. At the young
age of 15, she is environmentally-conscious beyond her years and has a long-term goal to help
reduce society’s dependence on landfills. Lilly determined that she could make a real difference
at her school, Prairie Point Middle School and Ninth Grade Academy. She discovered that 65%
of the total cafeteria waste could be diverted from the landfill and turned into compost. There
was just one problem. Lilly wanted to compost the food waste, but had no way to do it as efforts
to compost on-campus were not practical. GreenRU, an organic diversion company, learned of
the situation and met with Lilly and Prairie Point’s Principal, Greg Leytem. Today, GreenRU
collects the organic food waste at no-charge through the end of the school year.

Lilly Brown

Lilly has showed her fellow students a more ecological way to deal with trash and food waste in the cafeteria. Students were educated on the options of putting food waste in one container and waste for the landfill in another. Students are responsible for the separation when they return their food trays to be cleaned. The program has met with tremendous success. Today, the collected waste goes to a state certified compost facility and the school is seeking a grant to continue food waste diversion for the entire College Community School District next year.

“I like helping the Earth and the environment and this is such an easy thing that just about
everybody can do to help,” Lilly said.

GreenRU, a Chamness Company, is the first company in Iowa to provide full composting services; including education, training, collection containers and services. The program is designed to work with industry, schools, colleges, grocery stores, hospitals, and institutions that are looking to better their environmental footprint and improve their sustainability efforts.

Over 34 million tons of food waste is thrown away by U.S. homes and business and food waste
is now the fastest growing waste stream sent to landfills. Organic materials, when re-purposed
into compost, make a nutrient rich soil amendment and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

GreenRU’s innovative pick-up system is unlike any other in the region. The specialized organics collection vehicle is specially designed to transport organic materials safely and efficiently to a certified compost facility. At the composting facility, organic waste is mixed with wood and other materials and processed over several months to create compost that can be used for a variety of agricultural and horticultural applications. All of the compost from Iowa clients goes right back to Iowa soils to enrich the next generation of crops. For more information, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment