Custodian wins contest for waste-reducing ideas
May 26, 2009
MARYSVILLE, WA — A custodian at Marysville Middle School won the national "Everybody Wins" contest sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for his essay about replacing the styrofoam trays with biodegradable ones, recycling and composting at the school, according to the Daily Herald.
Matt Edgerton, a decade-long custodian, received $5,000 in personal prize money and $20,000 in seed money for his project for winning the contest, the story stated.
According to the story, Edgerton, after returning from Puerto Rico to attend a conference where the winner and two runners-up were announced, met with Marysville Middle School Principal Pete Lundberg, other custodians, kitchen workers and Marysville School District administrators and devised a plan to separate trash into multiple bins and use lunch trays that will break down in the compost bin.
Since winning the contest, Edgerton has visited several school districts to promote his sustainable recycling and composting practices, the story noted.
The program, which began in October 2008, has helped the school go from throwing away 56 bags of trash each day at lunch to just five, keeping nearly six bus-size loads of garbage from the landfill, the story added.
Lundberg said: "I''m excited about saving our landfill. I''m excited about turning food waste into something that''s actually reusable, and I like the fact that in order for kids to do it right, they actually have to think about it."
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