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Westwood Green Team Promotes Recycling and Waste Reduction



Westwood’s Green Team has a success story to share with you! Westwood Elementary School is now officially a King County, Level One Green School! How did this happen? Westwood began participating in the Green Schools Program October 2011.

Almost every fifth grader at Westwood School is a Green Team member. Out of 75 fifth grade students, 70 are on the Green Team!  Through their efforts:

• Westwood Elementary increased its recycling rate from 43 percent to 54 percent.

• Beginning in March 2012, the school improved lunchroom recycling and began compost collection for food scraps and food soiled paper. Due to the school’s efforts, the school was able to reduce their garbage dumpster from an eight yard dumpster to a six yard dumpster.

• Paper handouts are limited through use of student notebooks instead of new sheets for every assignment and through use of technology by the teachers.

• Th is school uses durable lunch trays and utensils. Th e school district also agreed to replace Styrofoam boats and bowls with compostable paper boats.

• Recycling containers provided by the Green Schools Program were added to each classroom for paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

• Each classroom started with 10 points each week and lost a point for each item not appropriately placed in the recycling or garbage bins. Classes retained their 10 points if they have recycled 100% correctly. When classes earn 100 points, they earn an extra recess.

• Mr. Jaime, our Head Custodian, uses teachable moments in the lunchroom on a daily basis to remind students about proper recycling and composting behaviors.

• Monitored disposal stations in the lunchroom. A rotating group of student Green Team members monitored the new recycling stations. Each group was made up of six fifth grade students that monitored for one week each.

• Two students monitored the salad bar and suggested portion control for the K-3 students. Four students monitored the silverware/liquid disposal/recycling/ garbage/food scrap collection stations.

• Student Green Team members were given bright green aprons to identify them as Green Team monitors.

• Assisted kindergarten students. For the fi rst three days of the new recycling stations, each fifth grade student (all of whom are on the Green Team) was assigned as a buddy to a kindergarten student. Each fifth grade buddy sat next to their assigned younger student, ate with them, and escorted them through the disposal line.

• Completed spot inspections in classrooms. Two fi fth grade students dress up in cow costumes and go with a fifth grade recorder to every classroom once per week for spot inspections of proper use of garbage and recycling containers.

For additional information regarding this program, visit http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/greenschools/index.asp