McKinley Elementary Named A Finalist In LA Trash-Free Lunch Challenge

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014, 8:35:00 AM

Mirror Staff

McKinley Elementary in Santa Monica has been named a finalist in L.A. County’s third annual Trash-Free Lunch Challenge.

The contest, created by environmental non-profit Grades of Green and sponsored in part by the Sanitation Districts of L.A. County, teaches kids to reduce trash and care for the environment by using reusable lunch containers and by sorting compostable and recyclable materials.

Lowell Elementary School in Long Beach, McKinley Elementary School in Santa Monica, and Vista del Valle Elementary School in Claremont were selected from a group of 24 entrants countywide.  

The Trash-Free Lunch Challenge has diverted 100,000 bags of trash from area landfills and saved schools thousands of dollars in trash liners and waste hauler pick-ups over three years.

A judging panel of five environmental experts will visit the three elementary schools to select the winner on Thursday, April 3, and the winning school will be honored with a celebration on Tuesday, April 29. 

All schools will receive education grants from Chevron. The winning school will receive a $1,000 grant.

The two runners-up will each receive a $750 grant. Additional sponsors include the City of Santa Monica, LAcarGUY, 4th District County of Los Angeles Supervisor Don Knabe, Warner Brothers, Wean Green, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.

Three middle schools—David Starr Jordan Middle in Burbank, Jane Addams Middle in Lawndale, and Parras Middle in Redondo Beach—were also named finalists in the competition.

Of those three, one winner will be selected from the middle and high school category.

Another judging panel will visit the finalist middle schools on April 16, and the winning middle school will be honored with a celebration on April 22.

Even though this year’s Trash-Free Lunch Challenge is nearly complete, any school may initiate Grades of Green’s Trash Free Lunch program, as well as more than 40 other environmental activities, at any time. 

Complete instructions are available at no cost to schools at

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