New Albany Plain Local School District, OH Recycling Programs

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New Albany Plain Local School District, OH, US

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Type: Program

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Our Schools Go Green with the Environmental 3 R’s

The New Albany Plain Local Schools has a long history of environmental education, advocacy and stewardship. The district’s recycling efforts are just one piece of that larger picture. While the district has not yet reached the goal of zero waste, there has been significant progress in reducing the amount of landfill bound wastes generated on the campus. Reducing the amount of waste the district generates not only is good for the environment, but its good for the district bottom line – less waste is just that, less waste.

Current District Recycling Program
The most extensive and visible part of the program is the recycling being done in each classroom and office. A generous grant from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) allowed the district to furnish every classroom and office in the district with a container for commingled recyclable materials to stand beside the existing container for (non-recyclable) trash. Students, staff and visitors are asked to place their materials in the appropriate containers.

Recyclable Items

  • Cardboard
  • Plastic bottles (with “necks”)
  • Metal cans
  • Glass bottles
  • All types of paper - copy, notebook, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Non-recyclable Items

  • Used tissues
  • Candy wrappers
  • Plastic packaging
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Styrofoam
  • Food

There is no need to further sort the materials. The district’s waste hauler takes the materials to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where they are separated and packaged for sale and ultimately re-use.

Cafeteria Recycling Program
During the implementation of the wider program cafeterias were not included because of the need to separate all of the materials. However after experiencing the classroom based recycling, students initiated the implementation of the collection and recycling of the plastic milk and water bottles used in the cafeterias. A second grant from SWACO provided the district with bottle-shaped containers for the collection of cans and bottles in not only the cafeterias but across the campus wherever drinks are consumed. Parents, students and teachers are planning to institute a "waste free lunch" pilot program to educate students and their families, who daily pack their lunch, to consider utilizing reusable lunch containers in order to practice the "Reduce" and "Reduce" components of the 3 Environmental R’s.

4th Grade Can Recycling Program
The fourth grade led by Mr. Whitacre collects and recycles aluminum cans. The money raised from the cans is used to adopt and care for an animal from the Columbus Zoo. Staff Lounge Composting Pilot Program

As an outgrowth of a project to establish a garden so that fourth grade students could see first hand what they were learning in the life sciences classes, a pilot project to compost the waste from the teacher’s lounge will be undertaken during the 2008-2009 school year.

Other Staff and Student Led Recycling Programs
The Fifth Grade Student Council, advised by Mr. Barnes decorated and sold reusable shopping bags made from recycled materials. In conjunction with the project they conducted a student essay contest focused on recycling and other environmental issues. The proceeds from the sale were donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

The High School pilot programs to recycle ink cartridges and batteries were instituted in the 2007-08 school year.

Art Teachers, district wide are utilizing recyclable and non-recyclable products in the construction of creative art objects as part of their regular curriculum.

Program Development
Much work was done by the district’s recycling team made up of teachers from each grade level. Not only did they do extensive work on setting up the program, but they have done extensive work to educate their colleagues on the program as well as identify ways that recycling could be incorporated into the curriculum and students could become involved.