Steve Fink, co-chair of Sustainable Andover, said one or two schools won’t have much of an impact on how much Andover saves. But if every school participates in the effort — the end goal, he said — the savings could be drastic.
“If we get all 10 schools, it actually ends up being a noticeable line item in the budget,” Fink said. “Then you get all the students doing it.”
That can lead to greater things at home, according to Fink.
“The thing that means the most to me, and this has happened three or four times, is a parent comes to me and says their kid has gotten them into composting at home because of what they’ve learned,” he said.
High Plain Elementary School is being targeted as the focus for the next effort. Because the school is part of the same building as Wood Hill Middle School, shifting the program to elementary school children will be easier, according to Bucco.
“Our students will be working with their students and staff over there, saying, ‘Here’s what worked for us,’” he said. “They’ll learn from our mistakes, just like how we’re learning from the high school.”
The effort is also conducive of the school district’s emphasis of project-based learning, where the education process leaves the pages of a textbook and becomes more involved, according to Fink.
For the high school students involved, moving the effort to younger hands “was the best kind of education,” Fink said. “This wasn’t writing a report somewhere and handing it into the teacher. This is changing how the town does composting. This is changing how the town actually works.”