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Food Waste As A Teaching Tool

By Sharon Chen
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In Arizona, McDonald’s is partnering with community colleges to divert thousands of pounds of waste from local landfills. As part of McDonald’s “Good Neighbor Good Grounds” program, schools can pick up used coffee grounds from McDonald’s locations to use in compost on campus farms and gardens. This partnership exemplifies ways that higher education can collaborate with corporations to increase sustainability. Diverting landfill waste, using the would-be waste to nourish gardens that provide locally-grown produce for campuses and communities, and teaching students firsthand about the importance of sustainability in the process – these are important ways that higher education can take climate action. If your school is looking for ways to go green, consider partnering with a restaurant to re-purpose food waste into a valuable tool for a greener education, and a greener world. For more information about how to lead on climate action, please join us on the Path to Positive.  


SCC, McDonald’s partner to use recycled coffee in gardens

Scottsdale Independent | February 10, 2016

The Scottsdale McDonald’s restaurant at Indian Bend and Loop 101 is partnering with Scottsdale Community College Garden Club in a new coffee grounds recycling initiative.

The initiative is part of McDonald’s “Good Neighbor Good Grounds” recycling program, designed to divert used coffee grounds from the waste stream by promoting the reuse of coffee grounds to add nutrients to soil or compost.

McDonald’s restaurants throughout Arizona are teaming up with schools and colleges statewide to recycle their used coffee grounds and help their gardens grow, stated a press release.

According to Scottsdale McDonald’s owner Jerry Wernau, 100 schools with the Arizona Dept. of Education School Garden Program and three Maricopa County Community Colleges — Scottsdale, Mesa and Rio Salado — have signed up and are starting to utilize their local McDonald’s coffee grounds in their gardens and composts. Schools and college community gardens pick up the grounds weekly from their local McDonald’s restaurant.

Mr. Wernau stated that Arizona restaurants participating in the coffee grounds recycling program expect to divert thousands of pounds of waste from going into the waste stream. He estimates that 10,000 pounds of waste per year from his restaurant may be saved.

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