‘Green School’ certification and award given to Dorena School


April 21 - On Wednesday, April 12, Dorena School received certification as a Green School, making it the only operating school in Lane County to hold this designation.

Val Rocco, their physical education teacher, Mindy Simons, their kitchen manager, and the middle school student leaders make up the Dorena School's Green Team.

As a team, they have removed 149 gallons of milk and 980 pounds of food in the last 3 months from being dumped and have salvaged 1800 pounds of trash from ending up in the landfill in the past year.

In order to do this, the crew composted all leftover food from breakfasts and lunches in the cafeteria. They did this by turning leftover fruit and vegetable waste into cold compost and leftover meat and bread waste into a bokashi compost. All of which is composted on the campus of the Dorena School utilizing an elaborate system designed by Val Rocco and family.

"The green team have been focused and working hard to do daily tasks of collecting, recording, and dumping the waste.” Rocco reported.  

All milk waste is given to local farmers to feed to their animals. Paper products are gathered, sorted, and recycled by volunteer, Beau Pixton. 

Rocco continued, “Kids are making a connection with our work here composting and what their families do at home. Some have shared that they are composting food scraps at home now or are paying attention to portion sizes and only taking what they will eat. This all makes a big difference as exposures and attitudes change with knowledge and experiences."

Along with this certification, Dorena School was granted with a $500 award to help expand and sustain their recycling and composting program. This is a student led process where students have expressed excitement and engagement in reducing waste.

6th grader Bentley Villines concluded, "It is important that we all do something to reduce our waste, it is really good for the environment."