The USEPA provides many resources for recycling in schools, but the best place to start is with your solid waste management department. Because what gets recycled is different in every locality, it can be a challenge to use some federal programs. That’s what Dane County did, and they’ve had tremendous success building a pilot program that works for the infrastructure in place and their school system.
Two parents got the process started with a cafeteria waste audit. The enthusiasm generated by the waste audit encouraged parents, custodial and school staff, and students to join forces to launch a small recycling program. The objective was to capture milk and juice cartons and paper lunch trays for recycling from the cafeteria. Putting recycling practices into
action, on consecutive days, the a single elementary school reduced the waste volume to just 13-16 bags of trash from 60 per day.
The Carton Council of North America, an industry association committed to growing carton recycling across the U.S., provided grants to the school district to help grow and expand the program. They worked closely with SCS Engineers and Sustain Dane to lead the efforts to scale up the recycling program in Wisconsin’s second-largest school district, Madison Metropolitan.
The program continues to expand with help from pilot programs in more schools, association support, and close coordination with the solid waste department and school administration. It just goes to show that community-based initiatives that foster student creativity and address a community problem do work.
Thanks to those of you who joined SCS Engineers at the Iowa Recycling & Solid Waste Management Conference during our presentation on Dane County, Wisconsin’s successful construction and demolition (C&D) waste processing facility.
For those who missed it, here is a quick recap of what helped make the facility a success. Dane County converted a C&D transfer station located at their landfill property into a fully operational C&D processing facility. A public-private partnership makes C&D recycling a more economically viable endeavor, by leveraging strengths among the public and private entities.
With a pricing structure that creates a strong incentive for LRR to recycle, more C&D is beneficially reused, and the County extends the life of its landfill.
SCS supported the County in this award-winning project by managing the design and construction of the facility. Want to discuss your C&D operations? Contact your SCS Engineers representative today, or visit our website that includes this and other case studies, whitepapers, articles, and events.
Thank you to the Iowa Recycling Association and Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations for sponsoring another valuable conference. See you next year!
National Waste and Recycling Association is sponsoring a FREE 90-minute webinar on December 6 at 3:00 pm ET. The webinar is highlighting the programs, strategies, and best practices of their six 2017 Recycling Award Winners.
The recipients will describe their unique blend of technologies, outreach, and program management that made a difference in their communities. The audience will have a chance to ask questions and find out how to implement these innovative ideas into their own operations and businesses.
More Solid Waste Management resources and success stories here.