OGS - FAQ's!

(Click Here if your school is NOT in Lane County.)

What is a Waste Audit?

  • General: The purpose of a Waste Audit is to determine the types and amounts of materials that are ending up in your garbage. With this information you can create goals/projects that will help you decrease your garbage material-by-material.

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  • How it works:

    • (1) The Waste Audit is scheduled between you and your regional coordinator (Joshua). Together it is important to find a teacher or two willing to help by sending student helpers on the day of the audit. (This is a great educational opportunity involving student leadership, math and environmental stewardship.)

    • (2) On the day before the audit, the custodial staff saves one day worth of classroom trash, and keeps it in a safe place.

    • (3) On the day of the audit the cafeteria garbage is saved.

    • (4) Just after lunch (or after school), all the garbage is taken to the sort area (sometimes outside, and sometime in the cafeteria). Large tarps are used to keep the ground clean.

    • (5) Joshua will talk to the students helpers to ensure the sort is completed safely and quickly. All materials will be sorted, weighed and measured for volume. The sort takes about an hour.

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  • Scheduling: Waste Audits can happen on Tuesday through Friday (being that you need a day prior to collect the classroom garbage).

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Recovery Rate:

"The percentage of the total waste generated that is recovered in recycling [or] composting." (http://www.oregon.gov/deq/mm/Pages/survey.aspx) In other words, your recovery rate shows you what percentage of the materials you use are recycled/composted instead of buried in the landfill.

Post-consumer material:

Post-consumer material is defined as waste materials generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of a product, which can no longer be used for its initial purpose.

Oregon Green School certification levels:

EntryAt the Entry level, a school must complete the following requirements:

  • Identify an on-site resource conservation coordinator (RCC)

    • This position can be held by any school staff member (e.g. teacher, custodian, office staff, etc.). 

    • The RCC is the main school contact for all "green" projects, events and activities.

    • They are encouraged to share their role with other staff, parent volunteers, community members, etc. They are also encouraged to seek the direct assistance of the regional coordinator (Joshua at Partners for Sustainable Schools  ​greenschools@live.com / 541-636-0096.)

    • If you would like, your school can choose a different name for this position (e.g. Green Star, Adult Green Leader, or Environment Coordinator).

  • Monitoring

    • Conduct a waste evaluation (a.k.a waste audit) to identify the types, volumes, and sources of materials found in the school's garbage.

      • For more information, or to schedule your waste audit, please contact ​Joshua Frankel – greenschools@live.com / 541-636-0096.

    • Determine your weekly garbage AND recycling volume. (There are forms to make this very easy. It is tracked for several weeks to determine a fairly accurate average.)

    • Calculate your average energy/water usage. (This information can be found by contact your district and/or utility provider.)

  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Conserve

    • Your schools needs to be recycling at least 3 materials.

    • You need to descibe how the school reduces and reuses materials to reduce waste and conserve resources.​

    • You will also need to describe how the school conserves energy and water.

  • Goals

    • Establish waste reduction goals for garbage/recycling, energy and water.​

    • Define method and steps to be taken to accomplish your goals.

      • Suggestions for goals are listed on the application, and more ideas can be found here, or by talking with Joshua. 

  • Reporting

    • Key member of your school's community need to be informed ​that your school is applying for certification.

MeritAt the Merit level, a school must complete the following requirements:

  • Eligibility:

    • Your school must have received your Entry-level certification in an earlier school year. (You cannot receive two certifications in one year.)

    • Your school must provide waste reduction education and assistance to another school.

    • You must have a written policy related to resource conservation/waste reduction, and the policy needs to be published in a place where staff, students and families can see it (e.g. your website, attached to the school newsletter, or included in a publication that goes out in the beginning of the year).

  • Monitoring

    • Conduct a waste evaluation (a.k.a waste audit) to identify the types, volumes, and sources of materials found in the school's garbage.

      • For more information, or to schedule your waste audit, please contact ​Joshua Frankel – greenschools@live.com / 541-636-0096.

    • Determine your weekly garbage AND recycling volume. (There are forms to make this very easy. It is tracked for several weeks to determine a fairly accurate average.)

    • Calculate your average energy/water usage. (This information can be found by contact your district and/or utility provider.)

  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Conserve

    • Your schools needs to be recycling at least 6 materials, and they must be listed on the application.

    • Purchase at least one item containing post-consumer recycled content.

    • You need to descibe how the school reduces and reuses materials to reduce waste and conserve resources.​

    • You will also need to describe how the school conserves energy and water.

    • Incorporate energy and water conservation into the operations of the school.

  • Goals

    • Show how your school is working towards the goals established at the Entry level.

    • Update your goals as needed to ensure they are clearly stated, and realistic for your school to accomplish within the next three years.

    • Define method and steps to be taken to accomplish your goals.

      • Suggestions for goals are listed on the application, and more ideas can be found here, or by talking with Joshua. 

  • Reporting

    • Key member of your school's community need to be informed ​that your school is applying for certification.

PremierAt the Premier level, a school must complete the following requirements:

  • Eligibility:

    • Your school must have received your Merit-level certification in an earlier school year. (You cannot receive two certifications in one year.)

    • Provide waste reduction education and assistance to another school (within one year of applying for certification).

    • Provide waste reduction education and assistance to the community (within one year of applying for certification).

  • Monitoring

    • Conduct a waste evaluation (a.k.a waste audit) to identify the types, volumes, and sources of materials found in the school's garbage. At Premier an audit of your recycling is also required.

      • For more information, or to schedule your waste audit, please contact ​Joshua Frankel – greenschools@live.com / 541-636-0096.

    • Compare this audit to the one reported in your previous application and explain the differences in your results.

    • Determine your weekly garbage AND recycling volume. (There are forms to make this very easy. It is tracked for several weeks to determine a fairly accurate average.)

    • Calculate your average energy/water usage. (This information can be found by contact your district and/or utility provider.)

  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Conserve

    • Your schools needs to be recycling at least 6 materials, and they must be listed on the application.

    • Purchase at least one item containing post-consumer recycled content.

    • Demonstrate a reduction in the purchase or consumption of a product.

    • You need to descibe how the school reduces and reuses materials to reduce waste and conserve resources.​

    • You will also need to describe how the school conserves energy and water.

    • Incorporate energy and water conservation into the operations of the school.

    • Describe how implementing resource conservation has affected energy and water usage.

  • Goals

    • Show how your school has completed the goals established at the Entry level.​ (If any of the goals have not been completed, you need to explain the road blocks you encountered. 

    • Create a new set of goals to work on. (These can be carried over from the Entry level goals.)

    • Define method and steps to be taken to accomplish these new goals.

      • Suggestions for goals are listed on the application, and more ideas can be found here, or by talking with Joshua. 

  • Reporting

    • Key member of your school's community need to be informed ​that your school is applying for certification.

    • Inform school board of school’s program.

    • Provide narrative and digital photos of your achievements when you submit your application. (This will be used to acknowledge your school on the Premier showcase webpage of the Oregon Green Schools website.)

How to get started

 

Contact Joshua Frankel – greenschools@live.com / 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.

 

We hope your school is the next certified Oregon Green School!

(This page was updated: 12/17/18.)

To visit the statewide OGS website: www.oregongreenschools.org