Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Important of Reducing Waste in Schools
November 15th is America Recycles Day and at The Go Green Initiative, one of our focus areas is reducing solid waste in schools.
As we continue to create waste in landfills, we are limiting resources for future generations while creating more greenhouse gasses.
In order to prevent this, everyone should understand the importance of reducing waste, reusing resources, and recycling materials in an efficient manner. Including in schools!
- By not using natural resources (materials and energy) to create new paper or plastic bottles, we can lower greenhouse gas emissions as well as conserve resources.
- Plus, we minimize waste in landfills (as only 9% of plastic is recycled).
What GGI has been doing to help schools recycle and reduce waste:
We work with schools in Pleasanton (CA), Hayward (CA), Compton (CA), Camden (NJ), and Newark (NJ) to educate and train staff and students on waste reduction.
- This includes on-site visits: our staff members meet with the school to create & improve recycling and waste management.
In Pleasanton, Mallory McGoff, Program and Operations Manager, Go Green Initiative explained that School-Site Green Teams were re-established, the district secured thousands in funding to help initiate stronger waste reduction & diversion programs, while institutionalizing waste tracking.
These 4 key strategies lead to waste reduction success in schools –
- funding (a nice bonus), &
- data monitoring.
How do we get started?
According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, finding and eliminating the source of waste, helps reuse or reduce. A waste audit can show where to focus:
- For example, saving plastic water bottles and reusing them for different purposes or projects can help reduce trash disposal.
- Yet, eliminating the use of plastic water bottles and switching to refillable bottles would be an even better option.
At GGI, we help schools learn the importance of reducing waste and using programs like the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to detect sources of unnecessary use.
What’s the one thing you will do today for America Recycles Day?
In honor of America Recycles Day, consider ways that you and your school can increase your recycling – especially of easily recycled materials like paper & cardboard, metal, and glass.
There is certainly a lot of paper in a school – start there!
In an interview Wayles Wilson said,
“Camden City Schools would not have been able to turn around our recycling efforts in the district as quickly as we did had it not been for some very critical partners. Certainly The Go Green Initiative really held our hand through this process and really pushed us along the way, but that’s what we needed.”
– Wayles Wilson, former Chief Operating Officer, Division of School Support, Camden City School District and current GGI consultant
To learn more about ways GGI has helped schools read more of our blogs on recycling and waste here!