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Keller is Trash-Free Lunch Champ

After months of sorting lunchtime waste, hosting educational assemblies on waste reduction, and packing trash-free lunches, several local schools have earned honors in Grades of Green’s 7th annual Trash-Free Lunch Challenge — including the grand prize and $1,000 awarded to Keller Dual Immersion Middle School.

Participating schools diverted more than 460 tons of waste from local landfills.

Robinson, Prisk and Whittier schools each received special awards of recognition.

“Once again, Long Beach schools did amazingly well in this competition,” said Allie Bussjaeger, director of regional programs for the nonprofit Grades of Green.  “We are so impressed with the student leadership at our Trash-Free Lunch Challenge schools.”

Lindbergh STEM Academy won the grand prize last year.  This year, Robinson won the Green Leaders of Tomorrow Award, Prisk won the Super Sorters Award, and Whittier was Most Inspirational.

Top winner Keller built a school culture of environmental stewardship in just four months, starting a Green Team that instituted a classroom recycling program and paired each trash can on the campus with a recycling bin.  Keller also implemented lunch sorting to recover recyclables and unused food to be donated to the local non-profit FoodFinders.  The school worked with the City of Long Beach to compost fruit and vegetable scraps, and Green Team students trained peers to act as liaisons in each science class to share waste reduction information.  Keller used its website, bulletin board, posters, flyers and daily announcements to keep everyone apprised on eco-efforts.

Twenty schools in the greater Los Angeles area entered this year’s challenge to see which school could divert the most waste and best inspire lifelong waste reduction habits.

Learn more about Grades of Green.