Auburn High School: Recycling and Waste Reduction Strategies

    During 2012-13, Auburn High School increased its recycling rate from 44% - 52% as a result of a school-wide program that includes recycling containers in every classroom, office space, staff break room, and next to each copier

    • Green Club members—
      • ensured that each classroom was properly equipped with a recycling bin, garbage can, recycling signs and posters. They also created signage for the trash cans as a reminder on sorting waste
      • created and posted signs in the school to educate staff and students about recycling and to promote upcoming conservation events
      • organized a chip bag collection event and created reusable products from the collected bags. This activity was a fundraiser for building clean water containment wells in Kenya, and by May 2013, the Green Club had raised $1,800 toward this cause.
      • monitored lunchroom recycling, made daily announcements and organized a quiz show event during lunchtime, improving lunchtime recycle and best waste management practices
      • organized and participated in the Auburn 2013 Clean Sweep Day, in which they worked with other volunteers on improving landscaping in the downtown Auburn area
    • The school reduced waste by eliminating the use of paper lunch trays. Instead students began to use smaller hand held paper boats.
    • Students in the DECA class organized a program to recycle the school’s old electronic equipment
    • To reduce the school’s paper use, the monthly parent newsletter is distributed via e-mail where it was formerly mailed to every parent. The school reported that in addition to reducing waste, this change increased parent to teacher communication.
    • Bess Owens, teacher and Green Club leader, sent staff weekly “One Minute” recycling activity emails that included ideas for reducing waste and reminders of how to recycle properly
    • Students coordinated with the City of Auburn and their local recycling hauler to host a school-wide lunch time recycling event. Activities included games such as "waste-ket-ball", as well as an information booth and prizes