Capital High launches schoolwide composting campaign
BY LISA PEMBERTON
January 15, 2015
Capital High School in Olympia has launched a composting program.
Capital High School just became a little greener.
Students at the 1,300-student school on Olympia’s westside launched an organic compost and recycling program this month. In one week’s time, 482 pounds of organics (food scraps, paper bags and other compostable items) and 100 pounds of recyclable materials were collected in the new bins, and diverted from the landfill.
“Before this program started, there were 27 garbage cans for students to put everything in,” said Spencer Orman with city of Olympia, who helped coordinate the program.
Now there are four.
Although composting isn’t a new concept for Olympia schools — Capital was the 15th school in the district to initiate a program during the past seven years — the program is part of a bigger plan for the 200,337-square-foot building to lower its carbon footprint, according to principal Chris Woods.
“I think this is the beginning,” he said. “Our building uses the most energy than any building in the district.”
The composting program was organized by students in the Environmental Club. Woods said he believes the program will be sustainable because it was student-driven.
“We get to do something that’s good for the community,” said Environmental Club member William Clem, 18, a senior. “There’s also the social aspect of it.”
Since the composting system is new, students in the Environmental Club as well as those involved in the school’s Leadership program, have been taking turns staffing the bins, to make sure items are going in the correct place. The students can use kitchen tongs to remove items that might contaminate the organic bins.
“Sometimes there will be stuff that sneaks in,” Clem said.
Senior Andrea Cailliet, 17, said she hopes it will encourage students to compost and recycle at home, too.
“I think it’s a great program,” she said. “I think it will make ... a huge difference.”