2022 Waste Not Washington School Awards

Washington’s Waste Not Schools Awards continues to grow in 2022. We received an unprecedented number of submissions, especially in the “Seed Award” category, which provides funding to implement school waste reduction and recycling programs. This created a highly competitive funding cycle with more than 40 submissions from around the state.

We encourage applicants who did not receive an award to work with us to strengthen applications for the 2022-2023 awards.

The logo for the Waste Not Washington School Awards

2022 Seed Award winners

In 2022, we presented 21 Seed Awards totaling $84,899.63 to help schools implement waste reduction and recycling programs.

On Track Academy is a Spokane alternative learning environment high school implementing a composting pilot program for the Hilyard Community Campus and the entire district. This project will implement a new program for separating compostable materials, recyclables, and waste and lend itself to teaching students and the community about environmental stewardship.

Spokane International Academy is replacing their single-use expanded polystyrene lunch trays with durable, reusable trays to decrease their waste by up to 900 trays per day and decrease daily costs. 

Shelton’s Pioneer Elementary School will install a large capacity composter to reduce food waste that currently goes into landfills. The school community aims to create a valuable tool for educating students and staff about reducing food waste and composting what remains.

Catherine Blaine School in Seattle will conduct a waste audit to educate students about the impact and destination of their waste. The program aims to reduce recycling contamination, switch to reusable materials in the lunch room, install a milk dispenser, and install water refilling stations around the school. They will also assemble fully compostable kits with plates, bowls, and all utensils to host zero waste events.

Pullman School District in Whitman County is using magnetic garbage can lids, as well as education and outreach, to retain silverware in their cafeterias. They will also implement a food share table program to reduce food waste and composting program that will work with Washington State University.

Loyal Heights Elementary School in Seattle is creating fully compostable lunch kits with plates, bowls, and all utensils, to transition school events to zero waste soirées. This program will engage students to sort waste and teach other students proper sorting practices to reduce contamination. 

Spokane Valley High School students will create and promote a sustainability curriculum that teaches recycling and composting to younger students within the district. In turn, the nutrition department will engage students to sort cafeteria waste into trash, recycling and composting bins after meals. Composted food waste will help grow produce on campus for school lunches throughout the district.

Cascade School District in the greater Leavenworth and Peshastin area will implement a project to jump start co-mingled recycling collection and education throughout the school district. This project will engage students and staff in the recycling process through a combination of education, training, and increased access to recycling.

Starbuck School District in Columbia County will install a dishwasher, which it needs to transition away from expanded polystyrene lunch tray and towards durable trays. This program will help the school district reduce waste and comply with the upcoming expanded polystyrene ban.

Stevens Elementary School in Seattle will reduce waste by switching to reusable lunchroom trays and utensils. This project will also include water bottle filling stations and help establish on-campus composting. A school-wide publicity campaign will bolster the school’s efforts and foster more sustainable choices.

Lamont Middle School in Whitman County is transitioning from disposable cafeteria items to school meals with all-reusable products, including cups, plates, and utensils. These changes support the school’s existing and upcoming composting and recycling programs.

Federal Way Public Schools in King County will transition Mirror Lake and Wildwood schools from single-use baskets to re-usable, five-compartment lunch trays. Both schools will achieve waste reduction and long-term cost savings by serving fruits, vegetables, and salads without using single-use packaging.

Cascade School District Home Link in Chelan County will eliminate the need for approximately 2,000 dry-erase markers by purchasing reusable alternatives. This program includes a student-lead outreach campaign to inform the school community about reuse and new school purchasing guidance.

McCleary School in Grays Harbor County will replace single-use cafeteria items with reusable silverware, trays, bowls, dispensers, and reusable silverware containers.

Crosspoint School in Kitsap County will relaunch a green team to implement sustainable practices in the school, including a student-led program to collect recycling and food waste scraps for composting, and transitioning the cafeteria from single-use plates and cups to reusable materials.

Sultan High School in Snohomish County received partial funding award to purchase reusable trays, plates, and collection utility carts.

Kirkwood, Garfield, and Lincoln Elementary Schools, and Toppenish Middle and High Schools in Yakima County will purchase reusable trays for all of the kitchens in the district to reduce the use of single-use paper, plastic, and expanded polystyrene products. Toppenish School District provides meals to over 4,000 students daily, including breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snacks.

2022 Sustainable School Program Award winners

The Sustainable School Program awards efforts to support and expand programs for composting, recycling, and waste reduction. A school receiving this award could use it to pay for past efforts and continuation of its program. We awarded $15,100 to 4 recipients in 2022.

Washougal High School, Jemtegaard Middle/Columbia River Gorge Elementary Schools, and Canyon Creek Middle/Cape Horn Skye Elementary Schools in Clark and Skamania counties transitioned their culinary services department into a scratch cooking program and reduced waste from their cafeterias by transitioning to durable serviceware. This year, each of these schools will continue their efforts by purchasing a milk dispenser and reusable glassware to reduce landfill waste from used milk cartons.

Lincoln Middle School in Pullman plans to relaunch a more accessible composting program by creating a user-friendly system with clear signage, buy-in through student and staff training, and easy-to-use collection and disposal setups. This project will redirect normally landfilled food waste to an on-site compost area where the product will nurture the school garden and outreach will inform the community about on food waste reduction.