FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — In Maryland, Frederick County Public School students are working to protect our earth with one recycled trash can at a time.

In the cafeteria of Middletown Elementary School, you will find a group of students dedicated to teaching others about environmental sustainability.

“Lunches Out of Landfills” is a national program that encourages schools to divert organics from landfills.

5th grader Quinn Wagner noticed a need to reduce waste in her school, so she asked for help, and tailored the “Lunches Out of Landfills” program to fit Middletown Elementary School.

According to staff:

The focus is diverting waste out of landfills and instead into compost to help the soil, and to recycle, and to recover uneaten/unopened foods, to evidently donate them to the local food bank.

Wagner and volunteers created a system for the school to use to reduce the amount of trash that comes out of school lunch periods.

“We did this so that we could help save the world. I want others to join us and make a difference. I hope we can all work together and help protect our earth and keep it safe,” said Wagner.

Wagner received help from her teacher Cari Wolf, who helped design and manage the program so students can learn and participate in helping our environment.

“We would fill six to eight trash cans a day and not recycle, but now we are putting liquids in a liquid disposable bin. We recycle the containers, the liquids we’re in, and we are putting food in a compost bin which is picked up by professionals. We’ve gone from 100% waste to only about 15% waste now everything else is diverted out of landfills,” Wolf said.

The school plans to track data so they can help other schools implement this program.