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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Council Roundup: School food waste to be recycled

The City Council voiced support Monday for the introduction of food waste recycling at Bellevue elementary schools. Up to 1,800 tons of food waste will be composted over the next two years instead of going to the landfill.

One Bellevue elementary school recycled food waste last year, composting 56 tons. The new program will add 15 other Bellevue elementary schools, with the potential to divert 900 tons per year.

A $19,000 grant from the state Department of Ecology supports the program, along with $6,340 from Bellevue's Solid Waste Fund. The money covers the cost of food waste containers, biodegradable bags and collection service by Cedar Grove. Four schools will use compostable trays instead of Styrofoam ones this year.

The food waste program is being rolled out gradually to the schools, continuing from this January to December 2011. The school district will collect data, and Bellevue staff will lend assistance with education.

One goal of the program is to show that food waste collection and recycling can pay for itself through reduction of solid waste collection and disposal costs.

Feedback: Wendy Hairfield, Utilities Community Relations Specialist, 425-452-5215 or whairfield@bellevuewa.gov

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