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Nurturing Young Eagles
to Become Sustainability Champions

logos - sustain the ridge solo.jpg

Sustain the Ridge

Vision: Establish and maintain sustainable practices at Laurel Ridge Elementary School.

Mission: In collaboration with the LRES community, the Laurel Ridge Sustainability Initiative is working together to create mindful systems which promote a healthy, sustainable environment. The goal is to reduce waste destined for landfills by increased composting, recycling, and use of reusable materials.


Sustain the Ridge is managed by the PTA’s Sustainability Committee in partnership with LRES administration, teachers, custodial staff and cafeteria management; DeKalb County’s School Nutrition Services; DeKalb County Sanitation; Compost Now; parent volunteers; and, of course, each and every student.


  • Replacing black Styrofoam trays with compostable paper trays

  • Eliminating black plastic side trays and serving food directly onto the compostable trays

  • Replacing packages of plastic silverware with reusable metal silverware

  • Employing a share table for students to pass along unopened food

  • Implementing composting

In the 2019-2020 school year, parent volunteers worked closely with partners to launch a new suite of sustainability efforts in the cafeteria. These include:

Recycling at Laurel Ridge

LRES currently recycles school-wide in conjunction with DeKalb County Sanitation. Classrooms contribute their recycling to the large bins in the front of the school by the art room. Patrols and additional 5th graders oversee and monitor the recycling program.

Plastic Bag & Film Recycling

Did you know that plastic bags and stretchy plastic films are not allowed in your curbside recycling? Families are encouraged to save and bring in your plastic bags from home and we’ll recycle them for you! You can drop them off in the large purple container at the front of the school, just inside the cafeteria door. We will be participating in the Trex Recycling Program. The school that recycles the most plastic by weight nationwide will receive a high-performance composite bench on Earth Day!

Family STEM Night 2019

In May 2019, the Sustainability Committee saved all of the cafeteria trash for one day. The next evening at Family STEM Night, all of the black Styrofoam trays, plastic side trays, and recyclable materials from home were put on display alongside all of the school’s trash for that day. Read a synopsis and view photos in this sustainability presentation.

How You Can Help

Parent and family member volunteers are always welcome to assist with the waste line during lunches! This includes supervising and assisting students to ensure they don’t drop silverware into the trash by accident, that only biodegradable materials go into the compost bin, that the proper items go into the landfill, and that they trays are stacked. This is especially helpful with our younger students (most of the older kids have it down).


We will also be enlisting parent volunteers with a filming / editing / producing background to help create at least two videos about the program.  

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