Popular Pig-Posting Program Persists
Three Dunn residents arrived to school late this fall ... but they got the most "stylish" accommodations on campus.
That's right, we're talking about pigs, folks.
Each year, Dunn welcomes a trio of porkers from a nearby farm owned and operated by Dunn trustee Debbie Jones and her husband Randy. The pigs live in a pen near the Middle School and play an important role in the school's ecological efforts.
Every day, food scraps from the Dunn Kitchen are transported from the Upper School campus to the pigs' trough. Each pig eats about seven pounds of food per day, which means they consume nearly 3,000 pounds of food waste the School produces at mealtime.
Considering the quality of our award-winning kitchen, you might say they eat "high on the hog."
Beth McCoy, STEM teacher and environmental sustainability coordinator, explains that over 72 million pounds of food waste is sent to U.S. landfills annually, so she's proud that Dunn students are doing their part.
And students do their part. Charlotte Robles and Cade Schaffer are the student co-leaders this year for what we call the "Pig-posting" (as opposed to composting) program. The pair help schedule students to take a cart specially-designed for pig food deliveries to the pen each day.
A true scientist, Ms. McCoy further makes the case that since the location of the food scrap pail in the dish room is closer to students than the trashcan, students save approximately two seconds per meal dumping food scraps for the pigs.
"Depending on how many meals a student eats—while factoring in variation in arm length—this can add up to over 7 minutes of saved time each semester," she says.
But the question is always asked: Can pigs eat pork scraps?
"Yes," Ms. McCoy explains, emphatically. "It's a Pig-eat-pig world.' Pork is a great source of protein, and the pigs have not (yet) developed a social system that frowns upon the idea."
But in all seriousness, the arrival of the pigs each fall is a welcome addition to our campus culture that is increasingly focused on ecological sustainability. And its a fun, hands-on way for students to learn about doing their part to lessen their footprint, think scientifically about their surroundings, and be more active in every-day conservation efforts.