Lake Trail School has created special sorting bins to manage waste. It is the first project of its kind in the Comox Valley. Photo supplied

Lake Trail School has created special sorting bins to manage waste. It is the first project of its kind in the Comox Valley. Photo supplied

Courtenay’s Lake Trail School introduces waste-free initiative

As Lake Trail Community School opened the doors to its new building on Willemar Avenue this fall, staff and students noticed something new.

The school has opted to be as waste-free as possible, making a big commitment to shift how they manage trash.

The first project of its kind in the Comox Valley and aligning with the district’s Strategic Plan, the school community began collaborating with Environmental and Outdoor Education teacher Serina Allison in the complex planning required to make this initiative a reality well before the new school was finished being built. They hope that other schools will be able to follow their lead, learning from their work.

“The Nanaimo school district is already reaching out to us for advice on how to do this,” said Allison.

“This project means that most waste from the school will be diverted from the regional landfill, which is a very big focus of the Regional District,” says CVRD educator Tina Willard-Stepan. “We work with students all over the district and they have been asking for this sort of infrastructure. Youth, in general, are very aware of environmental issues.”

The school has created special sorting bins to facilitate the diversion. Compost will be picked up by Earth Warriors Composting, a local company, and will be supported by Leadership and Lifeskills students in taking recyclables to the local Recycle BC depot. The school will also be supported by the CVRD’s educator, making sure that everyone is involved.

“It has been a lot of work to put together, but we are very committed to creating a culture of zero waste in our learning community,” said school principal, Gerald Fussell. “We have been in school for only two weeks and students are already on board. It’s very exciting.”

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