Zero2 Plan: Zero Hunger, Zero Waste Solutions
In response to a growing concern within the Saint Paul community about the amount of B2Go student waste being thrown in the trash and efforts made by select schools, SPPS Nutrition Services and Facilities Department partnered with the consulting firm, EcoConsilium, to form a Project Team. This team set out to develop a three-year Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Plan to redesign, reduce and reuse inbound and outbound food packaging materials; and a best management practices reuse, recycling and compost program for the Nutrition Center and schools to manage downstream materials after B2Go meal events.
To guide developing an environmentally preferable purchasing plan that eventually leads to waste being separated and diverted from the waste stream, four outcomes were identified:
B2Go Zero Hunger, Zero Waste Study Outcomes
1) Identify opportunities to reduce and reuse before recycling and composting
2) Identify products or supplies that have excessive or unnecessary packaging
3) Explore opportunities to design out or eliminate waste from vendors
4) Identify opportunities to optimize the use of existing recycling and compost collection systems in schools to manage B2Go student waste.
LEAP High School Rain Garden
LEAP High School installed a new rain garden in the school’s courtyard to address ongoing drainage issues. Prior to the rain garden, rain water would sit against the building and flood the gym, slowly ruining the gym flooring. In collaboration with Ramsey County Water and Soil and SPPS Environmental Services, LEAP High School received a grant to install a rain garden that included the necessary drainage features to prevent further flooding.
In addition, the garden includes an outdoor space where classes can meet and learn about native plants, pollinators, rain gardens, and storm water sustainability. While the plants are young and small now, they will grow into a beautiful space to be used by the school and enjoyed by the community.
LEAP high school’s overgrown courtyard garden before installation of the rain garden