McCornack Elementary

Current Status:

Entry Level - Certified on 8/16/16, Expires on 8/16/19

About the McCornack OGS Program:

Rules for saving water and energy are shared with all staff/students at least twice per year. McCTV morning announcements are used to promote green ideas, including composting, reuse and recycling. 4th grade students participated in an April assembly to celebrate Earth Day, and share what green projects the school is involved with.

We sent out Lane County Recycling News, School Edition to all fourth grade families. McCTV morning announcements include information on how to get involved. There are posters and artwork in the main courtyard encouraging staff and students to protect the Earth. Green news is regularly published in the school's newsletter, reminding families of events and projects related to being a green school. 

At PTO meetings (in the principals report) we ask for volunteers, and spread info about the compost and recycling. We send out information, and ask for PTO volunteers for the Electronics Recycling Competition that happens in April.

Our upcycle club reuses old t-shirts to make purses, handbags and other products. Reusable terry cloth or microfiber towels are used for cleaning. Garbage liners are reused when possible. Students and teachers reuse paper from recycling bins, and office staff cuts all used paper into fourths and reuses it for notes. 3rd grade students are in charge of recycling, and planting in the school garden. 4th graders are in charge of composting, and lead the Mason bee project each year. Custodial staff uses Coastwide Laboratories green certified cleaners.

YMCA uses the building and has access to recycling containers. They are not using the composting at this time, but they could in the near future for snack! Recycling is available at all movie nights and PTO events. At "Welcome back night" we invited Partners for Sustainable Schools to host a table where they handed out information, recruited parent volunteers, and composted the "welcome back night" watermelon feed scraps Recycling bins are provided for staff near staff boxes. Staff are encouraged to contact companies for less paper forms (example Scholastic). Water cooler is used and staff are encouraged to refill water bottles versus having disposable ones available. Staff take home glass to personal recycling as this service is not provided to schools. Staff are encouraged to reduce.

Data Collection and Monitoring (Important Info):

- Our last Waste Audit was on 5/12/16

- Approximate Recovery Rate: 20%

How we Reduce and Reuse:

  • Our upcycle club reuses old t-shirts to make purses, handbags and other products.

  • Reusable terry cloth or microfiber towels are used for cleaning.

  • Garbage liners are reused when possible.

  • Students and teachers reuse paper from recycling bins, and office staff cuts all used paper into fourths and reuses it for notes.

How we Save Energy/Water:

  • All lights are turned off when not in use.

  • YMCA turns gym lights off as soon as they are done around 6pm.

  • Sprinklers are on timers, to prevent waste during summer months.

  • Automated faucets in all student bathrooms.

Current Goals:

Reduce Waste - Goal 1: Reuse milk cartons and other supplies.


(1)Create projects using milk cartons (planting seeds, use for painting containers, use as house models, etc.).

(2) Talk with kitchen staff about other possibilities for milk distribution

(3) Have reuse containers placed in classrooms for students to choose from.

Reduce Waste - Goal 2: Decrease the amount of food waste we are producing (so our commercial compost bins are no longer overflowing).


(1) Meet with kitchen staff to discuss ways to serve smaller portions,

(2) create and post stickers on the lunch line asking students to "only take what you will eat."

(3) make announcements at lunch and show students how to take less food.

Recycling - Goal 1: Start and maintain a marker recycling program.


(1) Have 4th grade students create marker recycling boxes, distribute them to classrooms.

(2) Package used markers.

(3) Return markers to program.

Recycling - Goal 2: Reuse paper before recycling.


Educate teachers and students about using both sides of papers. Make a container in workroom for staff to put paper that is miscopied, too many copies, etc. for staff to use in classrooms for student work, first copies of work, etc.

Energy - Goal 1: Turn off all lights when not in use or necessary.


(1) Have student teams who are "Watt Monitors" periodically monitor lights and turn off if necessary to conserve energy.

(2) Have same monitors do audit to decide if there is a difference in energy usage on a monthly basis.

Energy - Goal 2: Coach all students on using less energy at the beginning of the year, and a second time during the year.


(1) Determine all the ways in which staff/students could save energy, 

(2) Develop a McCTV program outlining the ideas that are gathered,

(3) Determine a time in the beginning of the year, and half way through, in which to show the McCTV program.

Water - Goal 1: Create stickers near all faucets encouraging staff and students to use water wisely.


(1) Ask one or more teachers to have their students design stickers with a clear message to use water wisely,

(2) Pick a few finalists and have students vote on the best design,

(3) Copy and laminate the stickers,

(4) Post stickers at all faucets.

Water - Goal 2: Integrate a xeriscape garden in the courtyard and/or outdoor areas.


(1) Have students at one or more grade levels create designs for the xeriscape garden,

(2) allow students to present their ideas in class,

(3) have students vote on their favorite design, and have a finalist from each classroom present to principal and staff,

(4) use the ideas to create a final design,

(5) install the new garden.

Upcoming Events:

- Nothing right now!

Ongoing Projects:

(1) Recycling

(2) Monitoring – What’s in that smelly dumpster?

(3) Cafeteria Composting

Would you like to help McCornack at being greener?


Contact Joshua Frankel – / 541-636-0096. He is the local OGS coordinator, and he will get you everything you need including:

  • The Oregon Green Schools application.

  • The information you need to schedule your waste audit/garbage sort.

  • A list of sample goals.

Together we can help your school save money, reduce waste, and conserve energy/water. Thanks for participating in the Oregon Green Schools program!

(This page was updated: 1/23/17.)