Garbage goes back to school

Digby Elementary School reverses 'take home garbage' policy

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on December 19, 2012
Waste Check staff members Jeff Trask and Amy Hillyard with one of the new “easy sorters” made by Sissiboo Farm Supplies in Weymouth and purchased by Waste Check. Community groups can borrow such source separation stations for their events through Waste Check’s event greening program. Eric Bourque photo

By Keith Maryanovich


Digby Elementary students will no longer have to take their garbage home to recycle it.

Complaints reached Digby town council in November that students weren’t able to recycle their lunch waste at school. The administration had instead directed students to take their garbage home for sorting and recycling.

Council discussed the issue on Monday night, Dec. 3.  Deputy mayor Jean Brittain said the policy was contrary to provincial regulations.

“The provincial regulations state that the sorting of garbage must be done at the source of the garbage created,” said Brittain at council.

Councillor Danny Harvieux agreed.

“Home and School will be speaking directly to the school board and the principal,” said Harvieux. “Waste Check has sent a letter to the school board as well.”

Gus Green, Waste Check general manager

said his staff inspected the school in September and discovered “that four stream separation was not present in all areas of the school.”

He said the school made quick improvements.

“However it has also come to our attention that the students have been instructed that any waste that is brought into the school must be returned home,” he said in a letter to the Tri-County School Board dated Dec. 3.

The school has since revised the “take home” garbage policy as of Dec. 10 according to Home and School president Cindy Black Longmire.

“My kids would bring home garbage in their knapsacks to be sorted and recycled here,” she said. “Now it will be done at school.”

Green is pleased overall with the school board efforts to improve.

“We thought that we were missing a good opportunity to teach students and staff alike how to sort and recycle at the school,” said Green. “We are optimistic that this will get resolved quickly.”

He says they are willing to visit the school to talk with staff, students and even parents about the proper way to recycle.

Principal Jane Chisholm says she will comment officially once she’s had a chance to set up the new system with Waste Check and talk to parents about it.