Reduce Waste While Educating Students
Schools produce a lot of waste, and it's often surprising how much of that volume is recyclable. Until February 2018, Pride Schools in Spokane was hauling its 20-yard roll-of dumpster on a weekly basis, yet over half of that waste could have been recycled. That much unnecessary waste not only impacts the environment, but it hurts a school's operating budget.
The Pride School team had already taken steps towards waste reduction, but there was always a more pressing priority. Resource Synergy was able customize a strategy and implementation process to achieve significant results in a matter of weeks.
Before implementing Pride School's customized program, Resource Synergy consulted with teachers, administrators, custodians and kitchen staff. Upon initiation, students were incorporated into every phase of the process, beginning with a waste characterization to identify waste prevention and diversion opportunities. Resource Synergy then deployed consistent, color-coded bins and signage to promote wash participation and later trained and educated students about best recycling practices at assemblies for all middle and high school students.
Resource Synergy's program doubled Pride School's recycling volume, initiated compost collection, and reduced trash by 73%! With a total waste cost savings of 67%, the program not only paid for itself but freed up funds that can now be redirected to other priorities.
More than 60 recycling and compost bins were deployed throughout the Pride Schools property. In total, Resource Synergy educated over 300 students, as well as their teachers and other staff members.
Removing recycling and food waste from the trash dumpster was a big win for Pride Schools, resulting in its big 20-yard dumpster being hauled once-per-month instead of once-per-week. In addition to strong financial savings, Pride Schools' recycling program visually communicates its organization's sustainability commitment while educating the next generation of environmental stewards.