Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District (LWSD) received the “Grand Award for K-12 School Districts” from American School & University Magazine. This award recognizes healthy and sustainable approaches to cleaning to protect health without harming the environment.
“As a district, we have a long-standing commitment to sustainability,” said Dr. Traci Pierce, superintendent. “I am proud of our custodial staff’s sustainability efforts that also protect student and staff health.”
LWSD’s Green Cleaning initiative began in fall 2012. The custodial services department evaluated how to include sustainability in all aspects of its cleaning program. This team-driven process included head custodians at most schools. They evaluated the effectiveness of new products and procedures. The number of cleaning chemicals used was reduced by nearly half. Only four core chemicals are used for routine cleaning. The district also began cleaning with color-coded microfiber cloths and mop heads. All custodial staff are trained in their use.
Here are a few of the cleaning procedures and strategies:
· Vacuums are equipped with proper filters/bags. They are changed per manufacturer’s recommendations.
· All core chemicals are dispensed using Ecolab dispensers in ultra-concentrated 1.3-liter containers.
· All paper products meet the EPA minimum guideline of 40% post-consumer recycled content.
· Toilet tissue dispensers use coreless rolls, reducing waste.
· Trash liners are only replaced when torn or soiled. All schools have un-lined recycle bins.
· All school lunchrooms offer compost containers for student use.
· Custodial staff partner with school green teams in recycling efforts and initiatives.