Without planning, the 185,000 students who attend Maine’s K-12 public schools are likely to produce more than seven million pounds of food waste and food scraps every year. Fortunately, by following the Food Recovery Hierarchy, Maine schools can reduce or eliminate their school food waste. The Hierarchy seeks to ensure food waste is reduced at its source, and then used to feed people, feed animals, compost, produce energy, and, as a last resort, landfilled.
The Natural Resources Council of Maine encourages all Maine schools to work to ensure no edible food is wasted, and that any food scraps are used appropriately. This toolkit, and NRCM’s Sustainable Maine staff members, can help.
Other Resources to Help Reduce School Food Waste
- Maine DEP Composting Guide
- Maine Ag in the Classroom
- Smarter Lunchrooms
- Maine Share Table Guidance
- Maine Food Recovery Coalition
- Garbage to Gardens
- We Compost It!
- Mr. Fox Composting
- Scrap Dogs Composting
- Maine School Garden Network
- USDA Ending School Food Waste
- A Guide to Conducting Student Food Waste Audits: A Resource for Schools by the EPA
- Life Lab’s Ultimate School Composting Resource Page
- The Debunking Handbook