City of Somerville
Massachusetts

Agenda Item
205290
Kept in Committee
Mar 2, 2020 6:30 PM

That the Commissioner of Public Works share the process of handling different types of cafeteria waste, including recyclables and food waste.

Information

Department:City CouncilSponsors:City Councilor At Large Stephanie Hirsch, Ward Seven City Councilor Katjana Ballantyne, Ward Six City Councilor Lance L. Davis
Category:OrderPurposes:Order

Official Text

That the Commissioner of Public Works share the process of handling different types of cafeteria waste, including recyclables and food waste.

 

Meeting History

Mar 8, 2018 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
RESULT:APPROVED
May 16, 2018 5:00 PM Video Youth Services Committee Committee Meeting
RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Jul 2, 2018 6:00 PM Video Youth Services Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Curley reported that he met with DPW staff and they are considering a pilot program to eliminate the use of water cups in one school Chairman Hirsch said that students used to drink from water bottles and drinking fountains and that plastic cups have recently been added. Chairman Hirsch said that the Publics Work Commissioner had said in the last meeting that as of the start of school this fall, the City would start composting the trays and washing/recycling the milk containers. Mr. Curley said that he will double check on the status of these plans. Also, Mr. Curley will be meeting with the Cambridge School’s food services department to learn how this is being handled there. Mr. Green commented that the food issue is a tough nut to crack for the schools and he thinks that a year from now, they'll have tried some things and will have some answers. He asked that the committee be mindful of everything else that the School Committee is responsible for and Chairman Hirsch said that she understood and pointed out, however, that it’s the law. She suggested that the City take on the work to implement waste reduction. Alderman Ballantyne also suggested that perhaps the OSEE committee could do some research to take the burden off the schools. She also mentioned a composting program that is offered by a company that will pick up composting materials at your home for approximately $3.25 per week, adding that it might be good to consider something like this for Somerville. Alderman Niedergang asked that Mr. Sellers-Garcia be requested to appear before the committee with some options.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Oct 24, 2018 6:00 PM Video Youth Services Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Koty reported that the program is working very well is should be expanded to include other schools by January. The students seem to be taking interest in the program and Mr. Sellers-Garcia said that they understand the sorting method. The “Garbage to Garden” program will be extended for a couple of more weeks as there is much to be learned from this program. There was some discussion about the amount of food wasted by students and that students do not have enough time to eat.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Apr 8, 2019 6:00 PM Video Youth Services Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Sellers-Garcia talked about the roll out in schools this school year. He stated that Mr. Koty was very enthusiastic about this program, but did not believe there were enough funds to roll out to all schools in this schoolyear. A recommendation will be coming soon stating what will happen with the program in the fall of 2019, such as which schools will go first and in which order. Chair Hirsch stated it would be great to have the plan before the end of the school year. This program needs the support and coordination of the principals, and it affects kitchen and cafeteria staff, so may require more staff in each school that runs a composting program. Councilor Davis encouraged Mr. Sellers-Garcia to ask for funds to move this program forward. Mr. Sellers-Garcia meets regularly with relevant departments on this matter. Mr. Kress talked with the Board of Health about a shared table when students do not want something on their plate, and they passed a policy. The school committee will need to decide how to roll out this program. The chair will have a meeting next month and invite Mr. Koty from DPW, representatives from the District and school committee to determine if there is a way to consider next steps with the composting/recycling program and with the share table program.

Councilor Davis motioned and it was accepted that the Administration include in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget the funding necessary to expand school cafeteria recycling and food waste reduction and collection programs beyond the current pilot program to all schools.

Councilor Davis motioned and it was accepted that the Administration report to this Council on the specific plans to expand school cafeteria recycling and food waste reduction and collection programs beyond the current pilot program to all schools.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
May 7, 2019 6:00 PM Video Youth Services Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Mar 2, 2020 6:30 PM Video Equity, Gender, Families and Vulnerable Populations Committee Meeting
draft Draft

The committee chair was not pleased that no one from the Administration was present to address this item.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE