Rising Star Elementary - School Cafeteria Composting
Parents and students in the Shawnee Mission School District initiated cafeteria composting in a single school in 2008. The initiative spread slowly from school-to-school. By 2012, 12 schools were on board, diverting a total of 431 tons of waste from area landfills. To support the schools efforts, the district provided compost service for schools wishing to participate. The program continued to expand as a grass-roots initiative. In 2015, the Board of Education adopted cafeteria composting as part of the strategic plan and hired a coordinator of sustainability and community engagement to guide implementation. With the support of the EPA and state, county, and composting and recycling partners, the program has grown to include 36 elementary, middle and high schools and the district administrative center. By the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, all 50 schools and administrative centers will be on board, diverting an average of 70% of their waste from the landfill.