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King County Executive congratulates Issaquah School District on earning recognition for resource conservation

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine today congratulated the Issaquah School District for successful waste reduction and recycling practices that have earned it recognition as a King County Level One “Green School District.”

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine today congratulated the Issaquah School District for successful waste reduction and recycling practices that have earned it recognition as a King County Level One “Green School District.”

“In the lunchroom and in the classroom, the students and staff of the Issaquah School District have learned how to produce less garbage and use less energy, setting a high standard for recycling and waste reduction that deserves recognition,” said Executive Constantine.

The King County Green Schools Program will honor resource conservation achievements at the district’s April 25 school board meeting. The district and King County have partnered with the City of Issaquah, which also provided assistance, recycling containers and support for school recycling efforts.

The County’s Green Schools Program helps schools and districts to conserve natural resources and become better stewards of the environment.

“Green School conservation efforts support Issaquah School District student learning goals of promoting global responsibility and citizenship by showing students how their personal and collective actions impact the environment,” said Dale Alekel, King County Green Schools Program manager.

“I am very pleased with how our schools have made waste reduction and recycling part of their school culture,” said John Macartney, Issaquah School District Resource Conservation Manager. “The King County Green Schools Program and the City of Issaquah have helped students and staff in all schools progress from recycling some paper, cans and plastic bottles to recycling nearly all our paper, cans and plastic bottles, as well as establishing compostable materials collection programs in nearly all of our schools.”

Of the district’s 24 schools, 21 schools - 88 percent - have been recognized by King County as Level One Green Schools. At least 75 percent of a district’s schools must complete Level One school criteria in order for a school district to achieve Level One status.
 
Five of the 21 Green Schools in the district also have received recognition from the King County Green Schools Program for their energy conservation actions (Level Two) or water conservation actions (Level Three).

Issaquah School District policy requires each school to recycle paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, fluorescent light bulbs and tubes, and electronic waste. At 21 of the district’s 24 schools, food scraps and other compostable materials are collected for composting and transported to a composting facility.

Issaquah School District also practices waste reduction strategies, including replacement of plastic-wrapped utensils and straws with an individual selection of unwrapped utensils.

With the district’s “offer and select” policy, students are not required to select food items that they do not intend to eat. The district also has a food purchasing system that reduces the amount of leftover food that must be disposed or donated, and it donates any food items leftover at the end of the school year that will reach expiration date before they can be consumed.

To reduce paper use, the district has a double-sided copying policy and has replaced paper copies with electronic newsletters and reports.
 
Macartney oversees the district’s conservation practices, including monitoring each school’s waste volume and garbage collection costs, and decreasing garbage collection service when recycling volumes increase. Macartney also monitors energy and water use, and assists schools to conserve energy and water. This energy conservation effort has reduced the district’s energy consumption by more than 20 percent.

King County Green Schools Program has worked with Macartney to expand district-wide waste reduction and recycling efforts. Program staff visited each school, meeting with staff and students, offering recommendations and hands-on help, and providing recognition for achievement. Students and staff learned about the importance of recycling and what materials are recyclable.

The program also provided recycling containers for classrooms, offices and cafeterias, recycling stickers for each recycling container, and dollies to facilitate transport of recyclable materials to outdoor recycling bins.

More information about the King County Green Schools Program is available by calling Alekel at 206-296-8457, or by visiting www.kingcounty.gov/GreenSchools.

Related information

King County Green Schools

King County Solid Waste