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School district honored for recycling 40 percent of waste
Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) was chosen as the winner of the Leadership in Recycling Award, an announcement made at the city council's Feb. 19 meeting.
Councilmember Dini Duclos recounted the district's efforts in becoming more environmentally conscious.
"The students, staff and administration have embraced waste reduction, recycling and composting options in many ways," she said, "and their efforts are paying off with environmental and financial savings. The district recycled over 40 percent of its overall waste in 2012."
Duclos said that 40 percent translates to about 100,000 pounds of materials. Along with normal recycling practices, food scrap recycling practices have been put in place in more than a dozen Federal Way schools, which has added to the drastic increase in the district's recycling power.
"Annual savings, due to the recycling and food waste diversion programs, are expected to exceed $50,000 a year," Duclos said. "Just think what that money can be used for in terms of educating our students."
Other recycling/conservation efforts by FWPS include using products made of recycled materials. The district's new Maintenance and Operations building is on the fast track for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which would make it one of the first buildings in the region to attain the difficult certification.
"Getting that certification is not easy. My hat is off to you folks," Duclos noted.
Sacajawea Middle School was highlighted by Duclos' presentation. At that school, the food scrap recycling program has reduced their lunchroom garbage by 80 percent. That has resulted in 21 fewer garbage cans of waste per day, or as Duclos pointed out, "enough garbage to fill more than seven school buses a year."
Assistant Superintendent Carol Matsui, Federal Way School Board member Ed Barney, Director of Facilities Rod Leland, and members of Sacajawea's administration and student body were on hand to receive the award.
Matsui noted that FWPS' partnership with the city's recycling program manager, Jeanette Brizendine, has been helpful in reducing the district's waste.