From “Think Green” comes “Act Green”. This is how we’re turning waste into a resource and putting sustainability at the core of our District’s culture.
The Oak Park Unified School District believes it is important to serve as community leaders in the areas of environmental awareness and sensitivity. In addition to incorporating environmental education into its instructional program, the District is working to serve as an example for its students and community. The School Board has adopted principles and practices to accomplish the goal of greening its campuses. Sustainable, renewable, energy- and resource-efficient programs have been incorporated into Oak Park’s facilities and its maintenance processes to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students and staff; the District is also focused on using sustainable, non-toxic and environmentally friendly products. The District’s Environmental Education and Awareness Committee provides a forum for students, parents, faculty and staff to come together to discuss issues and recommend actions regarding environmental education and sustainability programs. Cool roofs, solar panels and bioswales can be seen throughout the District.
Students become dedicated recyclers
By Sophia Fischer firstname.lastname@example.org
Oak Park students are learning a new recycling system that has been installed at each school campus. Superintendent Tony Knight recently spoke to several third-grade classes at Red Oak Elementary about the new system and the need to reduce waste.
“Your job is going to be to remind people what the rules are,” Knight told the students. “What we’re trying to do is cut down on the amount of stuff we send to trash.”
Oak Park schools have extensive recycling programs including an innovative food waste composting program that partnerships with our local hauler who picks up food waste from all schools and sends the waste to a new municipal compost facility. Hydration stations reduce plastic bottle consumption; plant-based scratch cooked meals reduce individual packaging; the district minimizes the use of materials that constitute hazardous waste and utilize eco-safe cleaning products; electronic, battery, ink cartridges and light bulb waste is all recycled making our diversion rates at 80%+.
BRING US YOUR RECYCLABLES THAT CAN’T GO IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD COLLECTION BINS:
Don’t throw away your household batteries, ink and toner cartridges, cell phones, iPads, tablets, digital cameras, or other small electronic devices!
Oak Park schools and the District Office will gladly accept these items which create a hazard when placed in the trash and end up in landfills.
“Green Hippo” Recycle Drop-off Bins are conveniently located in the school and District Offices. Funds generated from the program will go to the OPUSD Environmental Education and Awareness Committee, a group that raises money for school gardens and other green projects.
WHAT IS SAVED – One metric ton of circuit boards can contain 40 to 800 times the amount of gold and 30 to 40 times the amount of copper mined from one metric ton of ore in the U.S.
Recycling electronics recovers valuable materials and as a result, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce pollution, save energy and save resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth.
COMMUNITY CLOTHING AND SHOE RECYCLING
All of the schools now have outdoor bins where you can deposit all used and unwanted clothing and shoes. Other items that can be included are towels, sheets, blankets, rags, purses, belts, etc. Any textile and leather goods are fine as well. The OPUSD Environmental Education and Awareness Committee will be paid for the items and the funds will be spent at the schools for gardens, recycling, and other environmental projects.
The donated items will be sorted by USAgain and sold to thrift shops in the U.S. and abroad. Unsalable items will be recycled into other products here in California. The program is a win-win for everyone involved because it prevents these items from ending up in the landfills 86% of clothing and shoes in the U.S. are placed in the trash and go to landfills. This program creates jobs and provides needed items at very low cost for people in need. Bins are available anytime. Thank you for your support!
Oak Park Schools proudly fly our flags every day. After a while they become faded and sometimes tattered. It can be considered disrespectful to fly worn out flags. What to do with them? You may bring your flag to any of our schools and drop it off for recycling. We send the flags to be respectfully recycled. It would be great if you would donate $5 for each flag to help pay for the recycling costs but we will accept the flags without a donation as a service to the community.
OPERATION GRATITUDE DRIVE
Over 500 lbs. of candy was collected from the schools by the Community Outreach Committee right after Halloween, sorted, boxed, and delivered to Operation Gratitude. OG will deliver the candy to troops serving in Afghanistan as a small token of remembrance and appreciation from home.
Construction waste recycling is the separation and recycling of recoverable waster materials generated during construction and remodeling. Oak Park Unified recycled:
- 28,000 sf overlaid paving
- 229,078 sf re-used paving
- 240 lf bio-swales within parking lots
- 80+% construction wasted diverted from landfills
Remove, Replace and expand the entire existing asphalt & dirt parking lot areas at basketball & Tennis courts at OPHS with a new expanded parking lot. Work included the removal and relocation of roughly 150-20 Yard end dump loads of soil to the lower field area of the high school for future use as certified soils, In addition the entire asphalt portion of the existing high school parking lot was ground up and pulverized and used as the base material under the new asphalt being installed which saved roughly 235-10 Yard dump trucks of road base from being delivered due to onsite recycled materials being used.