Spencer Butte Middle School

Current Status:

Premier - Certified on 12/14/14, Expires on 12/14/17

About the Spencer Butte OGS Program:


One elective option for students in our school is "Green Class," which focuses on environmental issues . This class meets daily.

Another daily elective class is Green Team. This class maintains the school garden and provides school-wide recycling services.

We provide informational signs in the hallways and cafeteria that give directions on how to compost and recycle. Reminders are given during morning announcements and during assemblies.

Green School is part of our official school SIP.

How do you publicize your program?

Our school has a multitude of informational signs generated by students. These include recycling and composting directions as well as "handy hints". We have occasional educational/informational morning announcements. We have occasional spot skits/presentations during assemblies.

How does your parent group (PTA/PTO) participate and support your program?

The Site Council approves the budget and SIP, both of which include Green School. Our PTA is informed on our efforts. Our Direct Donation Drive (school-wide fundraiser) supports all electives.

How do you practice resource conservation in your everyday operations?

There are paper recycle bins in all classrooms. All cafeteria food waste is composted. Milk cartons are recycled.There are recycle and compost bins distributed throughout the halls and cafeteria and other spaces used by students or staff. Staff are encouraged to use google docs or other paperless methods of collecting student work.

How do you integrate resource conservation into extra-curricular events?

We maintain this as part of our in-school curriculum so we are sure it gets done in a timely fashion. Extra-curricular activities (including community activities in the building, like basketball) such as homework club and robotics have access to and use all regular recycling facilities.

How have you helped another school with waste reduction education and/or assistance within the last year?

We collect, wash, and recycle milk cartons from a neighboring elementary school. (approx. 5 pounds daily)

How have you helped the community with waste reduction education and/or assistance within the last year?

We sold plant starts from the garden to parents and families.

We had an informational booth at Eugene Celebration where students talked about our program with the community.


We had a recycling presentation at Edgewood Elementary when we started collecting their milk cartons for recycling.

Data Collection and Monitoring (Important Info):

- Our last Waste Audit was on 1/23/14

- Approximate Recovery Rate: 58%

- Post-Consumer Recycled Products: School buys paper products from Georgia Pacific that is all "Certified Fiber Sources" and "Sustainable Forestry Initiative" (sfiprogram.org). Paper towels are 40+% pcw, toilet paper is 100% pcw, and copy paper is unknown pcw (the product is not labeled for this)

How we Reduce and Reuse:

  • Reduce: In the past, our school used recyclable plates and utensils. Last year we switched to washable plates and utensils. 

  • Some staff use electronic methods for students to submit papers. and an informal staff survey indicated that classroom paper use has dropped by about 25% in the past two years.

  • Many teachers commit to using both sides of the paper when printed materials are necessary.

  • Recycled paper stacks are kept in the copy room for projects, etc.

How we Save Energy:

  • Fluorescent lighting throughout with motion activated on/off so the lights go off when a space is not being used. 

  • Many classrooms have thermostats so teachers can lower or turn off the heat.

  • Some staff are conscientious about lowering or turning off the heat when leaving the building.

  • Custodial staff waits as long as possible to turn heat on in the Fall and attempts to turn it off early in the Spring.

  • Except for our food garden, the grounds are not watered.

  • Bathrooms have automatic-off faucets so they are not left running.

Current Goals:

Reduce Waste - Goal 1: Reduce plastic bag use by using smaller in-room trash cans so they need smaller liners.


  • Purchase new trash cans of find used ones from the district.

  • Educate staff/students to use smaller containers without littering.

Reduce Waste - Goal 2: Compost a higher percentage of food waste.


  • Educate students and staff on how to best utilize current compost system.

Recycling - Goal 1: Have less recyclables going into classroom trash cans, ensuring all recyclables end up in the recycle bins


  • Educate staff and students.

  • Put reminder signs up by all trash cans

Recycling - Goal 2: Add glass and plastic bag recycling.


  • Provide appropriate containers around the school.

  • Educate students and staff.

Energy - Goal 1: Reduce electricity consumption.


  • The school is planning to install heat pumps and insulated windows over the summer.

Energy - Goal 2: Reduce electricity that goes to heating rooms.


  • Educate staff to turn off thermostats at end of the day.

Water - Goal 1: Maintain current low levels of consumption.


  • Educate staff and students on how to maintain current levels of consumption of water.

Water - Goal 2: Save water in the school's garden.


  • Make sure that water is not being wasted by checking hoses and faucets for leaks.

  • Make sure all new students are trained on how to not waste water when watering the garden.

Upcoming Events:

- Nothing right now!

Ongoing Projects:

(1) Recycling

(2) Composting

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

Would you like to help Spencer Butte at being greener?


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.


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: 9/24/16.)