Success story: Odle Middle School
School District: Bellevue
School Location: Bellevue
Began participating in the Green Schools Program: September 2008
Level One of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in June 2009
Level Two of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in May 2010
Level Three of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in April 2011
Waste reduction and recycling
- Odle Middle School's Robotics Team weighed, evaluated and assessed the school’s garbage in the fall of 2008. The team then created a plan for how to reduce waste and increase recycling.
- Over two years the school increased its recycling rate from 50 percent to 60 percent. The school has continued to maintain a recycling rate of 60 percent.
- The size of classroom garbage cans was reduced, and the school eliminated unnecessary garbage cans throughout the school, including the lunchroom.
- Recycling pick-ups were increased from once per week to twice per week and the outdoor garbage container size was reduced.
- The school piloted lunchtime food scrap recycling for the Bellevue School District, and continued the program throughout the 2009-10 school year. Students separate their compostable and recyclable materials when they finish eating lunch each day.
- Science teachers taught a lesson to all student about the history of composting and what can and can’t be composted.
- At least one recycling bin was placed next to each garbage can throughout the school campus, including outdoors.
- Education and outreach included the following:
- Members of the Robotics Team made morning announcements about waste reduction, recycling and composting.
- Students placed signs that list what can and can’t be recycled on all recycling containers.
- Members of the Robotics Team posted information about conservation practices, including recycling, in the online PTSA newsletters.
- Large posters were created and distributed to show what can and can’t be recycled and composted.
- A representative from the City of Bellevue, which partnered with the Green Schools Program to assist Bellevue schools with recycling, educated students about recycling during lunchtime.
- The student green team submitted morning announcements about waste reduction and recycling.
- Leadership students posted “Please Turn Off the Lights When Not in the Room” stickers on every classroom light switch throughout the school.
- An energy patrol was conducted by leadership students at the end of the day. When students noticed lights and electrical equipment left on, they reported it to the principal who then followed up with a personal e-mail to staff about turning items off when not in use.
- The leadership group conducted a campaign to encourage teachers to reduce paper and energy use.
- Sixth grade students participate in Powerful Choices, a program sponsored by Puget Sound Energy and the City of Bellevue. The four-day program includes information about how everyday choices influence our carbon footprint.
- Sixth grade students complete a 15-week unit devoted to populations and ecosystems. Within the unit, students complete a project that includes a look at human impacts.
- In the Earth and Space course, the significance of climate change is addressed.
- Seventh grade students participate in a three-week unit about climate and climate change. Students learn about greenhouse gases, the cause and effects of climate change and visit the EPA website to calculate their own carbon footprint.
- Eighth grade students study renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. Students study how energy is taken from various sources (oil, solar, wind, etc.) and the advantages and disadvantages, including environmental impacts, of each energy source.
- After obtaining the data from the Bellevue School District, students used posters and morning announcements to share how much water is used at school.
- To promote water conservation practices, students displayed posters throughout the school and submitted morning announcements about conservation.
- Students placed “turn water off” stickers by sinks throughout the school.
- The green team used the water conservation resource tub from the City of Bellevue.
- Green team students signed a pledge to conserve water by taking shorter showers, turning off water when brushing teeth and reporting leaky faucets.
- Students set up a booth about water conservation and distributed water conservation stickers from the City of Bellevue.
For more information about the school’s conservation achievements and participation in the Green Schools Program, contact:
Odle Middle School