HARVARD — The Bromfield School cafeteria has a New Year’s resolution — no more Styrofoam.
Chef Paul Correnty, director of food service for the past 10 years, said the school throws away too much paper and plastic foam from the cafeteria.
“There are 160 school days in a year,” Correnty told the School Committee at their Dec. 8 meeting. “We throw away eight bags (of trash) a day. Think about it, eight bags a day times 160 days. That’s a lot of trash!”
Students at Bromfield use fiberglass trays, plastic plates and utensils and foam bowls for their lunches.
“We’re going back to the future,” Correnty laughed, referring to the hit 1985 movie. “We’re going to be using the old compartmented trays. The students will be putting the food right on the trays.”
Correnty didn’t want to use trays that would limit students to smaller portions of food, so he elected to purchase bigger trays, used at colleges.
“Look, they’re in Bromfield blue,” he said holding up a tray. “We’re going to use real utensils, too. I don’t think we’ll have any knife fights at Bromfield, so we’re going to real utensils. We’re also going to have real bowls for soup.”
It may seem simple but Correnty said the change is not going to be easy.
“Everyone has to be involved and interested,” he said. “There is only one way to do this: By educating everyone. Students are educating their fellow students and putting up posters around the school.”
Correnty will also hold an assembly after the first of the year, to announce the new system.
“We really have to educate the students,” he reiterated. “Some kids will throw away the trays simply because that’s what they’re used to. Seniors will be at the various stations to monitor (what’s being thrown away). We can’t spend money on labor so the students will be doing the monitoring.”
Correnty said the students involved with the roll-out of the new program will receive a 40-hour credit for their Senior Projects.
While implementing the use of trays is a relatively easy task, Correnty is taking on a second challenge that may prove to be a bit harder to implement — composting.
“I’ve asked (facilities director) Mark Force to build compost bins for us for next school year and he said it wouldn’t be a problem,” Correnty explained. “We’re going to start separating the trash as if we’re already composting, to make the transition easier.”
Correnty said the program was supported by a $7,173 grant from the Harvard Schools Trust.