Many Waste Not Washington award winners purchased new equipment and supplies to reduce theuse of sing-use plastic. Four schools installed water bottle filling stations to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles. Three schools eliminated their need for plastic serviceware or trays by purchasing durable products; and seven projects focused on food waste reduction by composting cafeteria scraps and using it to enrich garden soil.
2021 Seed Award winners
In 2021, we awarded nine Seed Awards, totaling $36,884, to help schools implement waste reduction and recycling programs. Projects can use the awards to buy educational aids and equipment for waste reduction and recycling programs:
Jefferson Elementary School in Mount Vernon eliminated single-use plastic serviceware in the school cafeteria by purchasing reusable utensils. The school also now uses compost bins to create a nutritious free supplement for the on-site garden.
Bellingham Public Schools in Whatcom County installed water bottle filling stations to improve student access to healthy drinking water and reduce single-use plastic waste.
Roosevelt Elementary School in Yakima replaced single-use cafeteria trays with reusable trays, and reduced the amount of wasted food going to the landfill by implementing a composting program, food share cart, beverage dispensers, and an expanded recycling program.
Rainier Valley Leadership Academy in Seattle implemented an updated educational program to promote recycling and composting in the school cafeteria and in classrooms.
Lind-Ritzville Cooperative School District in Adams County added capacity to utilize more bulk foods and provide students with healthier food choices. This reduces waste and improves the overall efficiency of the school district’s nutrition program.
Cascade School District Home Link in Chelan County launched its first at-school composting system and supporting curriculum. The pilot project utilizes two different types of backyard composting to turn organic food waste into compost for a school garden.
Redmond High School in King County installed a hydration station to reduce single-use plastic waste. Students also received education on waste reduction and single-use plastics, maintaining good health, and developing a greater appreciation for the value of water.
Spanaway Middle School in Pierce County installed a water bottle filling station to promote waste reduction, improved climate impacts, and increase understanding of the global impact personal consumption choices have on the environment and climate.
Voyager Elementary School in Gig Harbor used its award to install a water bottle filling station in a portable building to reduce the waste cause by single-use plastic water bottles.
2021 Sustainable School Award winners
The 2021 Sustainable School Award recognizes a school's ongoing efforts to support and expand programs for composting, recycling and waste reduction. A school receiving this award could use the money to pay for past efforts and continuation of its program. We awarded $32,998 to eight recipients last year.
The Ellensburg School District's Mt. Stuart Elementary School replaced its single-use polystyrene lunch trays with durable alternates, reducing waste, messes, and the cost of single-use supplies.
Virginia Grainger Elementary School, Okanogan Middle School, and Okanogan High School in Okanogan County diverted organic waste away from burn piles and the landfill and turned it into soil by using vermicomposting with red wriggler compost worms. This program also uses a curriculum to teach students and community members how to implement vermicomposting.
Lind-Ritzville Middle School in Adams County added compost bins and compost equipment to support the existing Farm-to-School program that teaches students to raise and process produce in order to supplement the school lunch program with additional healthy choices.
Environmental and Adventure School in Kirkland acquired a Ridan composter to process campus food waste into garden compost. Students then use the homemade and nutritious soil supplement to grow Pacific Northwest native plants to use in habitat restoration projects.
Kapowsin Elementary School in Graham improved its compost demonstration garden and re-implemented worm composting for the school’s gardens.
Sunfield Farm and School in Port Hadlock improved its school gardens by purchasing a new and easier-to-use compost turner that allows students to engage with the compost more actively. The school also purchased tools for more hands-on learning.
Franklin Elementary School in Port Angeles used its award to increase annual compost yield, expand soil science and regeneration curriculum, and to raise awareness in the community about the benefits of composting and gardening.
Harrah Elementary in Yakima County increased its efforts to reduce paper waste on the Yakama Indian Reservation by improving accessibility to existing recycling programs.
2021 Creative Curriculum Award winners
The goal of the 2021 Creative Curriculum category is to use newly created and original curriculum to introduce students, teachers, staff, and administrators to the concepts of waste reduction, composting, recycling, green chemistry, sustainable design, or circular economy. We funded three projects totaling $14,600 in 2020-2021.
Cascade School District Home Link in Chelan County implemented a curriculum series called “Waste Loop: A look into local waste streams.” Its goal is to take elementary students on an interdisciplinary journey into their local waste streams. The curriculum utilizes class discussion, at-home activities and videos to look at the cycle of local garbage, recycling and compost. It also provides tangible tools students can use to reduce waste.
Pacific Education Institute in Olympia is a non-profit organization that works with schools and school districts across Washington. Its project included the development and management of a free asynchronous course for teachers in high-rated Washington State Environmental Health Disparity regions. Through the course, teachers explore food waste management content, the connection of food waste to climate change, and student strategies to reduce food waste.
City of Spokane Solid Waste Department implemented “STEAM in the Garden,” a program that integrates the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math in lessons where students build and manage a community garden and compost system. The program uses principles of behavior analysis and modification to help students identify and reduce problems associated with improperly generating waste and improper recycling. Students also learn methods to reduce food insecurity.