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The 4Rs Project: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot

Doing the Rot Thing

BIS has been awarded a 2018-19 San Mateo County Office of Sustainability grant to improve and implement a campus-wide waste reduction program. The Doing the Rot Thing project will not only realign BIS's recycling efforts towards more efficient practices, but will implement a green waste diversion program. Green waste from school meals and the local grounds and garden areas will be diverted from the landfill for on/offsite compost processing. The project has four milestones:

  1. Increase paper/plastic/metal recycling efficiency by ensuring adequate collection bins, appropriate dumpsters, and custodian coordination. BIS already recycles a lot, so this phase is to get all of our efforts aligned and working more efficiently.
  2. Create an onsite worm composting system to capture any green waste appropriate for vermicomposting (i.e. central kitchen pre-consumer biowaste). In fact, the 4Rs grant will allow our garden to become a showcase for worm bins through allowing us to purchase and build a variety of different worm composting bins and to evaluate each of their performance. 
  3. Divert all other green waste from student/staff meals and planter areas to the green dumpsters for offsite composting. This will require creating a new source collection system throughout the campus that will include new green bins and appropriate signage. 
  4. Improve the existing garden composting system that already processes all the grass clippings and fall leaves from the other district's schools into finished compost using a hot-compost system. The grant will allow us to update our compost tools, build a bike-powered trommel (sifting device), and engage students in the composting process by providing them with boots, aprons, and gloves. We anticipate that we will produce enough high-quality compost to be able to start selling it to raise money for the garden. 
BSD Recycle, Compost and Landfill Bins with Helpful Signage
Childrens' hands holding small plants
Green Team Coordination

The green teams, both the student team and the PTA team,  will help to coordinate the school's recycling and composting programs. If you are a student, staff, or family member that has environmental tendencies, please help us with our composting efforts by joining the one of the green teams. You can contact Rusty Hopewell  ( for more information, or visit the BIS Student Green Team web page. 

BSD Recycling & Compost Infographic
Worm Bin