Sunday, July 21, 2024

MCS Students Learn Lots Through Waste-Free Lunch Challenge


For some, the concept of sorting and weighing lunch waste might seem like a sticky, smelly nuisance.

Not so for the students at Meaford Community School who are participating in Recycling Council of Ontario’s Waste-Free Lunch Challenge as part of Waste Reduction Week in Canada (Oct. 19-22, 2015).

These students have embraced environmentalism wholeheartedly and proven that waste minimization is as easy as reduce, reuse, recycle!

The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) is a not-for-profit membership-based organization committed to minimizing society’s impact on the environment by eliminating waste. Its mission is to inform and educate all members of society about the avoidance of waste, efficient use of resources, and the benefits and/or consequences of these activities.

The average elementary school student’s lunch generates 30 kilograms of waste per school year. For the entire week, M.C.S. students are committing to bringing a waste-free lunch (lunches contain reusable, refillable and recyclable containers). During the challenge, the school will sort, weigh and record their lunchtime waste generation.

Designed to help schools reduce the amount of garbage they generate from lunches, the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge educates students, staff and parents about waste and its impacts.

“Our grade 2/3 class runs this event at M.C.S. It really makes for interesting math, science and language. We have been learning to measure by mass, how material breaks down, or doesn’t! The kids also signed up to promote the challenge with posters, class demonstrations of how to make a waste free lunch, setting up the display case and reading morning announcements,” explains Tracy McNally teacher and co-leader of the green team at MCS. “As we record the results each day we learn graphing and data analysis skills.”

The Waste-Free Lunch Challenge is a program of Recycling Council of Ontario, in partnership with the Carton Council of Canada. For more information, please visit

The Carton Council of Canada (CCC) endeavours to advance sustainable recycling solutions in Canada by promoting both recycling technology and local collection programs to divert cartons from landfills. It represents the leading carton manufacturing companies in Canada, including Elopak, Evergreen Packaging, SIG Combibloc and Tetra Pak. These companies manufacture and market processing and packaging systems that are convenient, safe and environmentally sound. Carton Council of Canada is a part of Carton Council North America. For more information, please visit

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