The Washington-based National Recycling Coalition has recognized the Union School District in San Jose, Calif., with an award for its recycling program that includes lunch composting. The eight schools within the district compost all of the food waste from their cafeterias along with used plates, cups, and utensils.

“All schools prepare our children for the future, but Union School District’s Go Green schools are preparing the future for our children,” said Jacqueline Horejs, district superintendent, in a press release. “We’re proud to be part of San José’s program and hope to see other schools join in the effort.”

According to the school district, California schools produce more than 763,000 tons of waste in a single year, which is about 4 percent of the total commercial waste for the state.