The Carlsbad Unified School District is participating in a year-round polystyrene foam lunch tray recycling program that’s equal parts action and education. The “Going the Extra Mile” program shows students the importance of recycling, while also aiming to educate students about the benefits of recycling this common material.
Currently, nine schools in the district participate, and 6,700 foam lunch trays are recycled each week. That equals 33,500 trays a month!
Polystyrene foam—often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam, a registered trademark of Dow Chemical Company—is frequently used for foodservice products like coffee cups, lids, plates, and takeout containers. It is easily identified by the #6 chasing arrows symbol.
When foam products are properly recycled, they can be remade into everyday items like picture frames, interior crown molding, nursery trays, rulers, and ballpoint pens. Recycling foam also saves landfill space, decreases our dependence on virgin resources, prevents pollution, saves energy, and protects the atmosphere.
How the program works
The school district is partnering with P&R Paper Supply to complete the transportation and recycling sides of the campaign.
“We’re really proud of this program because it helps get children involved in recycling and also gives foam lunch trays a second chance,” said Joe Maiberger, CFO of P&R Paper Supply. He added that the program is “beneficial to the students, the district, and the environment.”
Susan Renaud, Nutrition Services Operations supervisor for the school district believes that this program “is a perfect opportunity to educate students on the importance of recycling and get them actively involved.”
At Carlsbad schools, it’s Earth Day every day.