August/September 2010 Go Green News

Our school color is traditonally "Bay Farm Blue." But last school year, that color looked a lot more green than blue. The 2009/2010 school year was enormously productive for the Bay Farm School community's efforts to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill and increase our efforts to recycle each and every day.

When Bay Farm School agreed in the spring of 2009 to become one of the five pilot schools to head a grant funded project called The Alameda Green Schools Challenge, we meant it. With the support of the district, head custodian, our faculty and staff, the students, and the parents of the newly formed Bay Farm Go Green committee, we changed the way we do lunch at school. Implementing the new three-stream recycling stations had immediate and dramatic results. In the previous school year, we typically sent 7 barrels of mixed lunch trash to the landfill every day. With the new system of sorting our recyclable materials and organic waste and food scraps into blue and green bins, we reduced the number of barrels of trash we sent to the landfill to just about one per lunch period. 

A rough estimate is that by the end of the school year, we kept over 1,000 barrels of trash out of the landfill and sent them to be composted or recycled instead!

This change was an accomplishment in itself. But our Go Green committee and PTA worked together to make sure we reduced and recycled at every school event. Many of these events and projects are highlighted in previous issues of the Go Green News.
Our work didn't go unnoticed. Bay Farm School was invited to come speak at the California Resource Recovery Association about our program. Michele Kuttner and Lorri Garrett accompanied 3 of our students and their families to Sacramento on August 9. These students spoke in front of a standing room only audience to tell them about our program. It was really exciting and students, Mackenzie Jordan, Allison Cho and Connor Tamor did a stellar job! On August 10, the CRRA awarded AUSD the "Next Generation Recycler Award" for the district's efforts through the Alameda Green Schools Challenge!

We've done amazing work! In a period of just about 6 months our school moved from diverting 30% to 60% of our trash from the landfill.
This year, we want to continue to improve those numbers until we are as close to a zero waste school as we can possibly be.

What's next for the 2010/2011 school year?

  • Recruit new members from the parent community to join Bay Farm Go Green.  
    Send email to and we will keep you up to date!
  • Continue our program to sort the trash we create at lunch so most of it is recycled or made into compost used by our local farms.
  • Reduce the waste we generate at lunch and at recesses by encouraging Bay Farm students to bring their lunch and snacks in reusable containers
    The Go Green Committee will have a variety of lunch boxes available for sale during both Back to School Nights.
  • Implement green waste recycling in our classrooms and bathrooms so paper towels and food scraps are composted and kept out of the landfill. 
  • Work to include Bay Farm students in all components of our program to provide them with meaningful service learning opportunities.
If you like what you hear and want to be a part of our work to make Bay Farm School the greenest elementary school in Alameda please join Bay Farm Go Green! Send an email to We will add you to our group and keep you informed.
We need parents to help out at lunch on a regular or every-once-in-a-while basis at the lunchtime recycling stations.
We need your ideas and expertise to implement projects to help us find new ways to "go green" at Bay Farm School.

It'll be a great school year at Bay Farm School!