Brock students helping city cut down on unnecessary waste

By Chad Klassen
April 12, 2017 - 3:00pm Updated: April 12, 2017 - 5:32pm

KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops has a goal of reducing waste by 50% of the 2008 levels over the next three years, a process made potentially more challenging with the recent recycling changes.

But students at Brock Middle School are doing their part to reduce waste, learning more about sustainable living.

On Wednesday, the city helped the school conduct a waste audit, helping the kids determine what's garbage, recycling or compost. 

The group of students, grades 7 to 9, are part of a new course at Brock called food sustainability, which began in January. There are nine students currently enrolled, with 24 kids coming on board next year. 

"Basically the idea is teaching kids the importance of eating healthy, local foods, knowing where our food comes from, how to grow it, and really learn about the whole food cycle," says Brock Middle School Principle Vessy Mochikas, who teaches the course. 

The students plant and harvest vegetables at the nearby Crestline Community Garden. They're involved in the Gleaning Abundance program as well.

But Wednesday's activities were focused on waste and how to cut down on it. 

"We learn about not wasting food and trying to make a healthy diet for ourselves, not just eat junk food all the time," says one student in the program. "We've made things like james and whole wheat muffins, and we usually go to the seniors' centre and give out some of the james that we make."

Marcia Dick, a waste minimization specialist with the City of Kamloops, says this is all in line with the city's sustainability goals. 

"If we can get all the schools on board to divert as much of the materials from the landfill as they can, then it's a win, and hopefully the students then take these learned lessons and practice it at home," says Dick.

Brock Middle School is the only across School District 73 to conduct a waste audit, but the city is hoping it catches on with other schools around Kamloops.

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