How Much Food Does Your School Waste?

We have developed metrics to estimate the amount of food waste your school produces.

Using data collected during Food Waste Audits in Elementary, Middle and High Schools from three Rhode Island public school districts (Urban, Suburban & Rural), we can estimate your school’s food waste.

The RI Schools Food Waste Estimator measures food waste in two ways:

1. Food Waste – How much total food does your school waste? 

2. Wasted Food – How much of that food waste is recoverable? (unopened milk, yogurt, cheese, granola bars and untouched bananas, apples and oranges – perfectly healthy food that could be donated).

 

RI Schools Food Waste Estimator

 

 

Notes: A school’s wasted food, divided by the school’s enrollment provides a measure of waste-per-student. The RI Schools Recycling Club provides separate waste-per-student estimates for elementary, middle and high schools based on data collected in this study.

Who wastes the most food in school – Elementary, Middle or High Schoolers? 

According to the RI Schools Recycling Club’s Food Waste Assessment Report, Elementary School students waste the most, followed closely by Middle Schoolers. High School students waste the least.

For example: 

If you have 424 elementary school students, then:

47 lbs./student/school year * 457 students = 19,928 lbs./school year = approximately 10 tons of food waste per school year.

 

If you have 507 middle school students, then:

39.3 lbs./student/school year * 507 students = 19,925 lbs./school year = approximately 10 tons of food waste per school year.

 

 If you have 1,277 high school students, then:

15.6 lbs./student/school year * 1,277 students = 19,921 lbs./week = approximately 10 tons of food waste per school year.