The Fall Edition of the YES! e-Newsletter was recently sent out to YES! supporters! Be sure to check it out here. There are great stories on the results of YES! teams last year, an overview of the recent YES! Fall Summit, highlights of what YES! teams are up to this fall, an article highlighting the Mankato West YES! team’s partnership with Full Circle Organics, LLC, and a story commemorating Chuck Waibel’s life.
40% of organic compostable materials are currently being sent to landfills. Full Circle Organics, LLC strives to reduce this amount through successfully managing a multi-location cooperative of compost facilities. This includes continuing to expand partnerships, one of which has recently involved the Mankato West YES! team.
Focused on providing organics recycling outside of the metro area, the partnership between the Mankato Public Schools and Full Circle Organics is a match made in food-scrap heaven. The Mankato West YES! team has been teaching their peers and elementary students about what is and is not able to go in the “organics recycling” bins in their lunch lines and why it is important that their schools are composting their food waste. Over 3.5 tons of organics were collected from the Mankato West High School during September and October (an average of 160 pounds per day). In total, this program has begun at 10 Mankato schools this year (with more on the way) and has resulted in over 9 tons of organics being collected by Full Circle Organics and diverted from landfills. These organics are being composted at Full Circle Organics’ Good Thunder facility.
According to Kate Goodman of Full Circle Organics, “the future for organics recycling and composting in Minnesota is limitless. There are so many people in this state that understand what a dire need it is to divert material from the landfill and put it to a better use.”
It is easy to see that the New London-Spicer (NL-S) YES! team is going to have another productive year. They are starting right by growing healthy food for healthy minds while also fine-tuning their milk carton recycling and hydration station campaigns.
The passive solar greenhouse that was just a dream this past spring for the NL-S team has come to fruition. It is about about 70% done and there are plans to have a vertical access wind turbine incorporated into the design. A big hit to this project has been the passing of Chuck Waibel of Garden Goddess Enterprises in Milan. He was a generous man with a great vision of a food system that allows everyone to enjoy and benefit from healthy, locally produced food. He had so much more to give and will be missed by many. With the NL-S food system starting to solidify and many others already producing delicious, local food Chuck’s vision lives on. The work now at NL-S is to inspire lunchroom staff with the benefits of using food produced on campus in daily lunches and developing a greenhouse ethic so that everyone can benefit from this powerful tool for education and sustenance.
Through a creative partnership with the robotics club the YES! team hopes to solve the problem of waste milk left in cartons that are off to be recycled. They are envisioning some kind of compactor that will crush the cartons and thus get rid of any waste milk. The school has developed an impressive rubric that encourages students to think thoughtfully about their school environment. With this they hope to incorporate recycling not only of milk cartons but recycling of all kinds and better signage to go with it.
With many great projects underway the NL-S YES! team is not forgetting about all the great projects that they already have going and the attention they require such as their hydration stations. Hoping to get the most bang for their buck, NL-S is planning to purchase water bottles to promote their hydration stations and also create a revenue stream which they can tap into to help fund their current and future projects.
YES! will bring together as many as 30 teams from across the state for the YES! Fall Summit 2013. While connecting with and learning from their peers, doing challenge courses, and thinking critically about energy issues and opportunities, teams will celebrate the start of the 7th season of YES!
- Date: October 30th
- Location: Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, Spicer
We’re excited to see YES! students and teachers there!