LONG ISLAND: Team-Up! Long Island NYS CEHC’s most recent community partner, Cafeteria Culture, is helping our Cyclopedia youth development program bolster its environmental health activism. NYC’s public school food program is the second largest in the country (right behind the entire US military) and there’s a lot of waste. Despite sorting bins, too much food and packaging goes to landfills and incinerators. Diesel traffic from waste hauling contributes to asthma East Harlem, and widespread air and water pollution well beyond the city. Fortunately, we have the power to make things better. Minimizing contamination of food scraps/recyclables/waste streams prevents all the bags being lumped into “trash” and we can help!

Cafeteria Culture trains our students to help the entire cafeteria utilize sorting bins effectively and sustainably by uniting the stakeholders involved at each step of the process. Here we see Cyclopedia students after their baseline survey of the weight and number of trash bags on a lunch day. Stay tuned for the “after” results of our implementation!