Roosevelt Elementary: Composting and Keeping Plastic out of Landfills

  • Project Type: Path to Net Zero, Waste Reduction
  • Students: 15
  • Staff: 6
  • Mentor: Madeline Burnside
  • Location: Park Ridge, IL
  • Grade Level: 5th grade

The Project

The Roosevelt Green Team, composed of 5th graders on student council and parent leaders, set out to implement a composting system at their elementary school. Students helped with the project’s ideation, discussion about challenges, marketing, promotion, and implementation (helping to sort and teach others in the lunchroom). As a part of the project, the school also ran a successful “Trick or Trash” candy wrapper collection, which taught students how to sort their waste in an exciting and engaging way.

On top of implementing the composting system, the 5th graders in student council also discussed further ideas for improvement on campus, which are still awaiting approval from the school. These ideas included reducing the school’s hot lunch programs' beverage offering and promoting reusable water bottles. They also discussed switching bottled plastic water bottles with carton or canned water options

Soon, the district-wide Green Team will be collecting and organizing end-of-year supplies and repurposing them for sale next year as a fundraiser that also reduces waste at the same time.

Jen Panattoni

Green Team Faculty Lead, Roosevelt Elementary

“It all starts with our youth and education. If we can get the kids to do it, they can help get their parents on board as well so I hope that the work these kids have done will continue to impact our community for years to come, and get more individuals on board with composting as well.”