Briarwood Elementary honored by county Green Schools Program

January 31, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Jan. 31, 2012

Part of the Issaquah School District, Briarwood Elementary is one of four area schools honored this week by the King County Green Schools Program.

“Each of these four schools can be proud of how they have involved their students and staff in learning about conservation and improving conservation practices,” said Dale Alekel, King County Green Schools Program manager.

Along with Renton Park Elementary, Briarwood was recognized as a Level One King County Green School.

Level One programs focus on waste reduction and recycling. There are several criteria schools must meet. The schools must reach a recycling rate of at least 40 percent; establish at least one paper reduction practice; one lunch waste reduction practice; and, one practice involving durable products. Alekel said many participating schools sliced garbage disposal costs by reducing waste and recycling.

According to a county press release, Briarwood recycles 55 percent of its solid waste through a school-wide program that includes recycling in classrooms, offices and staff rooms. In 2010, with help from the city of Issaquah, Briarwood students began setting aside food scraps and food soiled paper that is delivered to the Cedar Grove compositing facility.

Further, Briarwood’s third grade Green Team was trained to help other students properly sort lunch waste into recyclable materials, compostable materials and garbage. Two fourth grade students created a PowerPoint presentation about lunchroom recycling that was shown school-wide to educate students and staff. Along with other schools in the Issaquah district, Briarwood uses durable trays for lunches.

The two other schools honored by the Green Schools Program had achieved Level Two status, which concentrates on energy conservation along with building on the recycling measures instituted to meet Level One requirements. The two schools recognized are the Chestnut Hill Academy and the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle, two private schools in Bellevue.

The Green Schools program provides assistance, recycling containers and stickers, along with ongoing support to help schools and districts maintain effective conservation practices. Since 2008, when program levels were launched, 121 schools have completed Level One, while 62 have completed Level Two and 25 schools have reached Level Three.

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