Success Stories

The best way to get people to start reducing household waste is to share stories of how other people are doing it.  There are many examples of individuals, businesses, organizations and schools reducing waste in the North Country.  

South Lewis Central School District Composting Project

South Lewis Central School District is doing its part to reduce waste going to the landfill.  In addition to their recycling program, the school has implemented a district-wide food waste composting program.  Leftover food from school cafeterias is being collected and composted at the high school in composting bins built by the school. When the school expressed an interest in starting a composting program, it partnered with the Development Authority of the North Country and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The first step was to perform a "weigh and sort" on waste that is generated in the cafeteria.  What this does is categorizes the type and quantities of waste that results from a typical school lunch program. The waste is separated in to 4 categories: recyclable, compostable, liquids and trash. The results showed that the majority of the waste (approximately 85%) generated in the cafeteria could be diverted from the landfill through recycling, composting and pouring off of leftover milk down the drain. 

waste separation linefood waste

That data convinced the school that it would be beneficial to start a food waste composting project.  Students assist in bringing the discarded food waste out to the compost bins.  Since the program started in April 2013, the school has composted an average of over 1,000 lbs of food waste per month.  That's over 5,000 lbs through the end of November 2013!  Not only is South Lewis greatly reducing the amount of waste it sends to the landfill, they are producing a very beneficial soil amendment that can be used on their athletic fields and community garden. Congratulations to teacher Bruce Rohr for spearheading this initiative!

If your school is interested in starting a composting program or improving its recycling program, contact Jan Oatman, Regional Recycling Coordinator at (315)661-3234 or at

South Lewis ompost bins

Share your success story with us today.

North Country Recycles

Additional Information:

Where Do I Discard...?

Find locations near you to recycle items.

North Country Recycles


Three County Recycling List:
This list identifies items accepted by transfer stations in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties.

Email Signup