Agnew H. Johnston Public School students were a sea of green Monday.
With most of the student body sporting green, the Churchill Drive school kicked off Waste Reduction Week with the help of Mayor Keith Hobbs and EcoSuperior.
The school was the recipient of a Municipal Green Award last year and EcoSuperior waste reduction and litter prevention coordinator Shannon Costigan said they wanted to celebrate the national Waste Reduction Week with the students.
"In the last few years, Agnew has made some really great steps towards waste reduction so we're really proud of them," she said.
The school has had a green team responsible for recycling and composting, but Costigan said they have now expanded that job to the entire school community.
"That's great because it doesn't push the responsibility onto individuals, but everybody is responsible. That is how the community needs to think," she said.
"It's not a few people that make the difference; it's when everybody contributes that you really see some improvements."
Agnew uses its compost material in the school garden and then uses those vegetables to make food for lunches, which the city's waste diversion and recycling coordinator Jason Sherband said is amazing.
"At the grassroots level, it's huge," he said. "They bring it home to their parents and it just kind of goes along the line."
About 60 per cent of waste produced in a household can be composted, said Costigan and Sherband said in this consumer-based society Waste Reduction Week is about emphasizing the three Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle.
Thunder Bay's waste diversion rate is 32 per cent, which is below the provincial target of 60 per cent.
"There's always ways to improve and not just from diverting waste but on the reduction side of things. If we're not generating it in the first place, then we don't have to manage it down the line in terms of recycling it," he said.
Waste Reduction Week includes a tour of Recool's recycling facility on Tuesday and a tour of the Mapelward Road landfill site on Thursday.
For more information on events scheduled for this week visit www.ecosuperior.org.
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