Trash talking at East Hartford middle school welcomed in this case

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EAST HARTFORD -- The students at the CREC Two Rivers Middle School in East Hartford have been taking trash all semester and it seems to be working.

The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders have collaborated on a successful composting project that continues to add up for the environment by subtracting waste. Since 2015, the school estimates they have diverted about 75 thousand pounds of food scraps from landfills as a result of their composting project. Jen Balnis, a unified arts teacher at Two Rivers said "I think the biggest accomplishment is the fact that kids are understanding that if they keep food and waste out of the landfill it benefits them personally."

For the past semester at Two Rivers, the students have increased their efforts to compost, setting up stations in two areas in their cafeteria. Haritha Subramanian, a 7th grader said, "At the end of lunch students are expected to sort out their recyclables, their trash, and their compost."

In the last two weeks alone Subramanian said her grade has produced 216 pounds of compost that won't end up in a landfill.  Chelsea Wray-Brown, a fellow 7th grader added, "I think we're making a difference."

Last year, CREC Two Rivers was one of just three Connecticut schools honored by the U.S. Department of Education for being named a "Green Ribbon School."