15 Oct Blue Heaven Farm
Schools in Burrillville, Cumberland, North Smithfield and Woonsocket get an A+!
These kids are showing the rest of us how it is done. All 28 schools send their food scraps straight to My Blue Heaven, instead of the landfill. It’s a farm where over 250 pigs and piglets chow down every day – and we hear they even eat their vegetables. So how many pounds of scraps per year are we talking? How about 720,000 pounds? Seriously!
It was 30 years ago that Bill Gagnon and the Burrillville Town Council began this program for their school district, and today, it has expanded to include schools in Woonsocket, Cumberland and North Smithfield – that’s over 30 schools!
City and town administrators allocate funds for solid waste disposal for the public schools, and couldn’t be happier at the incredible cost reduction this program has produced. The Johnston Landfill charges a fee of $47 per ton, but the schools in their communities divert approximately 360 tons of food waste over the school year. That adds up to almost $17,000 in savings.
The food scraps are happily picked up every day by My Blue Heaven, a pig farm in Pascoag where each year approximately 3,000 hogs are fed very well, thanks to this program.
Here’s How It Works
- School custodians set up the sorting bins for students, and set aside scraps for daily pickup.
- Food Service Providers oversee the process, helping students to sort their food in the proper bins and making sure the food waste is contaminant free.
- My Blue Heaven shows up daily to haul away the food scraps, for a fee.
Mike Debroisse, Superintendent of Woonsocket City Solid Waste, says the program is “working great!” and here’s why:
Approximately 360 tons of food scraps are diverted from the landfill each year, reducing carbon emissions by 196 metric tons. That’s the equivalent of eliminating the annual exhaust of 42 cars from the air we all breathe!