OCEANSIDE–Oceanside Unified School District, in partnership with the City of Oceanside, has been on the Road to Zero Waste since 2012.
In fact, the school district became the first school district in the nation to formally commit to a goal of Zero Waste with the adoption of the Oceanside Unified School District Zero Waste Resolution in 2014.
The City of Oceanside-sponsored Zero Waste Initiative provides education, infrastructure, and support, and is implemented at a campus over a one-semester period. Through the ongoing strategic implementation of the school district’s Zero Waste Initiative, 12 of the 23 schools throughout district are well on their way to reaching the goal of 75%, with the other half joining the Initiative by 2020.
The initiative provides multiple benefits to the school district, including providing hands-on learning experiences that emphasize environmental stewardship and literacy that extend to the classroom. For example last spring, Zero Waste Leadership students and City staff participated in an exercise to self-evaluate their school’s progress in reaching its Zero Waste goal.
Participating schools will be recognized as top performers in last year’s Spring Audit Challenge, and will be awarded cash prizes courtesy of Waste Management during the school district’s board meeting on November 15, which is on America Recycles Day.
Schools recognized are:
- Del Rio Elementary: Incorporated Zero Waste behaviors throughout school culture, which is demonstrated through their extensive recycling education and promotion, extending from the classroom to school events and to the surrounding community. If you are looking for the same, go to these guys and get yourself educated about the best ways to get into Zero Waste Initiative.
- South Oceanside Elementary: Included all grades (K-5) in the Zero Waste Leadership Team to engage all students in taking responsibility for reducing and properly disposing of their waste.
- Laurel Elementary: Continues to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to Zero Waste through administrative and staff support and provides on campus daily encouragement to reduce, reuse and recycle for their school, their community and their future.
These student-driven audits also included an evaluation of materials being sent to the landfill, recycling participation, barriers to Zero Waste, and an analysis of additional sustainable best management practices, such as food donation and disposable bans.