Following the roll-out of the Zero Waste Schools initiative last school year, Wilton’s public schools have already diverted more than 20,000 pounds of food waste, recycled more than 48,000 pounds of recoverable materials, and seen students adopt more environment-friendly habits.

“Everything’s going great, but this is going to be a long road,” Middlebrook family and consumer science teacher Heather Priest said at the Board of Education’s Sept. 6 meeting.

“Implementing this kind of habit change can be very challenging, and it’s something that has to be cultivated throughout the community.”

At the meeting, Priest was joined by PTA president and Wilton Go Green board member Tammy Thornton, who said people from other towns have been noticing the successes of Wilton’s Zero Waste program and “really want to join in.”

To bring together people from different communities who are interested in reducing waste in their local schools, Wilton Go Green formed the Zero Waste Schools Coalition.

“We’re just trying to bring all these schools together … to collaborate, and to talk about successes and challenges and how we can work through them together and not just independently,” said Thornton.

The coalition will serve as a platform for Connecticut schools to connect, learn, and share ways to introduce or enhance programming to reduce waste. Its first meeting will take place Wednesday, Oct. 17, 7 to 9 p.m., in Middlebrook School’s cafeteria.

At the meeting, attendees will hear from members of the Wilton Zero Waste schools committee, Center for EcoTechnology, Curbside Compost, Chartwells Food Service, and more.

To register for the Zero Waste Schools Coalition’s first meeting, visit http://bit.ly/2MGbk0L.

Questions may be directed to Thornton at tammythornton1112@gmail.com.

To learn more about Wilton’s Zero Waste Schools program, visit http://bit.ly/2xgGJlc.