weaver lake sorting tableWith the support of a grant from Hennepin County, students and staff at Weaver Lake Elementary are doing their part to reduce waste schoolwide.

Last spring, the school received a $12,000 grant as part of Hennepin County’s school recycling program. This program seeks to educate students about the importance of waste reduction, recycling and overall environmental stewardship.

During the summer, a sorting table was added to Weaver Lake’s cafeteria and Principal Dennis Palm began to plan for its roll-out. Alexi Strommen, a fifth grade teacher at Weaver Lake, and Tom Madden, the school’s custodian, were instrumental in helping implement and facilitate the sorting table, Palm said.

In early September, the school’s fifth-graders were the first to begin using the table. To help ease the transition, Strommen produced a video explaining the table’s three sections: a red container for trash, a blue container for recycling, and a green container for organics. Strommen said the fifth-graders, who were dubbed the “green team,” then helped train Weaver Lake’s younger students to use the sorting table.

Six months after its introduction, the table is already yielding impressive results in support of Weaver Lake’s pursuit to be greener.

“We’ve reduced our waste by 80 percent in the cafeteria alone,” Palm noted. “We’re also recycling the brown paper towels in the restrooms, and that’s another six bags of what used to be trash that’s now being composted each day.”   

Rice Lake Elementary also received a school recycling grant from Hennepin County and plans to implement new recycling initiatives this school year.

WATCH: CCX News story about Weaver Lake’s recycling efforts