Bluegrass Greensource uses Walmart grant to promote school recycling in three counties

Walmart has given Bluegrass Greensource a $50,000 grant to help promote more recycling and waste reduction in schools in three Kentucky counties – Boyle, Clark and Madison.

The program has existed for a number of years in six other counties – Anderson, Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine, Lincoln, and Mercer – and been responsible, according to Bluegrass Greensource, for improved student state test scores, an increase in the rate of recycling, and significant financial savings. Fayette County schools estimated they saved $50,000 on their waste removal budget through the pilot program. Another county reports a 40 percent reduction in their landfill-bound waste.

Priorities for the program include increasing student understanding for the need to reduce waste and increase recycling. This is to be achieved, according to Greensource, by working with classrooms, cafeterias, custodians, and administrators on five elements including waste audits; provision of recycling equipment and materials; offering age-specific hands-on activities aligned with Common Core; providing a Manual for Waste Reduction; and helping schools apply for mini-grants to implement school-specific waste reduction initiatives.

Conkwright Elementary in Clark County will host an official launch of this year’s program on Tuesday, Sept. 30, during which students will participate in a school-wide waste audit and complete recycling lessons. Present at the launch will be the mayor of Winchester, the Clark County judge executive, the school superintendent, representatives from participating schools, the Clark County solid waste coordinator, and representatives from Winchester Municipal Utilities.

This post appeared in KY Forward on September 29, 2014.

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