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S’side elementary schools will use waste reduction grant funds on lunch trays

The Sunnyside School District is one of six districts in Yakima County that are sharing an approximate $150,000 grant to reduce waste in schools.

Yvonne Ramirez, nutrition services director for the Sunnyside School District, said Sunnyside’s $15,000 share will go toward replacing lunch trays in the elementary schools.

Most of the schools currently use disposable Styrofoam trays. The new reusable trays will dry quickly when washed, which will reduce staff members’ time, who formerly hand-dried trays before stacking.

A waste audit will be conducted prior to the implementation of the program, and again after a six-month period. The goal of the program is to reduce school waste by 25 percent.

The Yakima County commissioners signed an agreement in May to provide the grant to the six participating districts. They include Adams Elementary School in Wapato, East Valley School District, Gilbert Elementary School in Yakima, Selah School District and Union Gap School District.

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