Castelar Elementary: Repurposed trash can used for recycling with yellow lid and GSI signage.
In 2008 OPS
initiated a single-stream recycling program, expanding from its earlier program
of recycling paper only. The single-stream program allows schools to recycle
paper, cardboard, plastic (#1–5, 7), and metals in one container. There is no
need to sort them out. OPS recycling is split into two categories:
classroom/hallway/office and cafeteria recycling.
The following resources provide the key information schools need to successfully start and/or maintain a recycling program:
OPS Green Team Toolkit The OPS Green Team Toolkit focuses on environmental behaviors and zero/low-cost activities that green teams can implement with relative ease and that can significantly lessen the negative environmental impact of a school community; it does not address high-cost facility renovations or specific environmental curriculum. In other words, the OPS Green Team Toolkit discusses small scale events and daily actions that students and staff can partake in to conserve resources and energy while they are at school.
Recycling Tips Flyer. This flyer summarizes what can be recycled as well as the key contacts throughout the district who can help answer your questions. It also has a few tips for successful recycling.
Recycling Sign (Classroom/Hallway/Office). This sign can be taped to any container used to collect recyclables. It signifies and alerts individuals that the container is for recyclables, as well as reminds them about the items that can be recycled.
What Can be Recycled? This document is the official list from OPS on what can and cannot be recycled in OPS' program. Recently, gable-top and aseptic containers (such as 1/2-gallon milk and orange juice cartons) are also able to be recycled.
Guide for Increasing Recycling or Waste Dumpster Pulls This document details the OPS protocol for changing dumpster pulls.
Electronic Waste: Electronic waste includes things like computers, printers, copiers, and other equipment that has any kind of circuit board in it (like a switchboard telephone). This type of equipment often contains heavy metals in the circuitry that should not be sent to the landfill. Instead, you should take the equipment out of inventory and submit a request to district operations to pick it up. Following this procedure will both ensure that the equipment is recycled properly and that the district inventory is kept up-to-date.
majority of OPS trash comes from the cafeteria. Much of this waste can be
recycled, which is why it is important for all schools to implement successful
recycling programs in the cafeteria. Fortunately, many schools in OPS either
have a cafeteria program currently in place or are getting ready to start one
soon. Be sure to post the Cafeteria Recycling Sign on the recycling containers. You can also consult the Cafeteria
Recycling Tips handout.
OPS Recycling and Grant Options: A list of possible options for cafeteria
recycling containers and grants to help fund the purchase of these
Suggestions for Producing a Cafeteria Recycling Video: This document notes some
suggestions for creating a cafeteria recycling video if your school is
interested in developing one to help promote the program and educate
Grab 'n' Go Recycling! This document outlines some best practices for Grab 'n' Go recycling and offers a reminder of what is (and is not) recyclable.
Green Schools Initiative News
Northwest horticulture teacher, Rachel Burns, presented her
students with a unique challenge: Design a rain garden that will displace water
runoff during seasonal storms, minimize the amount of pollutants making their
way into the nearby Papio Creek and aid conservation efforts to provide
milkweed for the endangered Monarch butterfly.