Area schools are making a difference by participating in the Green Schools Project, according to Minnesota GreenCorps member Josie Flatgard.

Flatgard gave a brief update during a regular meeting of the Carlton County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, April 10, at the Carlton County Transportation Building.

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While most schools in Carlton County are participating in the recycling part of the program, several are taking it a step further.

Queen of Peace Elementary, Washington Elementary and Cloquet Middle School are doing their part to help lessen waste going to the landfill by collecting organics.

If the other two schools in Cloquet participated in collecting organics and food waste, that would add up to 20 tons annually being turned into usable compost instead of unnecessarily taking up space in a landfill.

Other initiatives schools have implemented include placing recycling bins in classrooms, installing water bottle filling stations and using reusable silverware in the lunchroom. Carlton High School has two worm composting towers.

Flatgard said another way schools can reduce waste is by discontinuing use of ketchup packets.