Would it surprise you to know that in 2015 Oakland Schools recycled 7,298 pounds of recycled plastic? How about 1,260 pounds of scrap metal? Or a whopping 16,962 pounds of recycled paper?
Since 2008, Oakland Schools has consistently been recycling thousands of pounds of these materials, all thanks to a recycling program implemented that year. At that time, we came up with our mission and then, at an OS health fair, we asked employees to sign the pledge board committing to our green ideas. Over the years, our recycling bins have gotten nicer and more permanent and clearly our culture embraces most of the recycling efforts. Communications created common signage for all the meeting rooms and bin areas were created within existing cabinets. Facility personal collect from the bins as they are filled.
The key to the success of this program is we try to make it as easy as possible for our employees to participate. All employees should have a paper recycling bin at their desk (if they don’t they can request one from Facilities) and employees can keep a refillable cup/Tervis to use the water bottle filling station (versus bringing in bottled water). Employees are encouraged to bring paper from home and deposit it in the outdoor recycling bin in the east parking lot; clothing and household items can be donated to Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in the green bin in the west parking lot. Participation in our yearly committee events is encouraged as well too.
We also include the public in our recycling program. Anyone can drop off paper to be recycled at the dumpster located in far east parking lot corner. In addition, we have just added a clothing and household item bin for recycling in the west parking lot (bright green bin). These bins are for both Oakland Schools employees and the general public too.
Oakland Schools is always looking for new and innovative ways to recycle. Next year, OS Employee Book Swap (Room 170) is set for Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2018. At this event, employees will bring in used books they would like to donate to a good home. Employees drop books off the week before and the committee organizes by age group/genre, then we have open times for employees to take home any books they wish.
We are looking into having our electronics recycling day in May – this is where employees and Oakland County residents can bring any electronic item (except for TVs) to be recycled versus throwing it out to end up in a landfill.
We are proud of the recycling program we have here at Oakland Schools and readily encourage both employees and visitors to participate. For more information, visit https://oakland.k12.mi.us/district-school-operations/environmental/Pages/default.aspx.
Nov. 15 is America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful, is dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.
Debby Dunn, contract specialist with the Office of Procurement & Contracting, is the head of OS’ Sustainability Committee which has a mission of researching and implementing best practices in reducing, reusing, and recycling materials and resources to increase cost savings, operate more efficiently and demonstrate genuine social responsibility as conservators of our Earth’s limited resources.