The Akron Public Schools Green Council – initiated by teachers and led by Katrina Halasa, science learning specialist – has partnered with Paula Davis, president and CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB), and Shelly Kadilak with the Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority (SASWMA). This partnership has been developed to assist the Akron schools with becoming more environmentally conscious.
The council’s first mission is to increase paper recycling in Akron school buildings. Paper is 40% of a school's waste stream, and it is the easiest material to recycle. In May, the council will push to increase paper recycling throughout the schools and surrounding neighborhoods. The council’s first step will be to conduct waste audits, with the assistance of SASWMA. The waste audit will raise awareness of what schools are throwing away rather than recycling.
The "waste audits" will take place during Earth Day week at:
The waste audits will involve the school principal, a Green Council teacher, a custodial staff member, a group of students, a Keep Akron Beautiful staff member and a SASWMA educator. The audit will begin with an interactive trash timeline lesson: students will separate waste into categories, weigh the waste and divide materials into recyclables/trash. Students will also explore the school building and evaluate the incoming and outgoing materials as well as rate the school building's current recycling efforts. SASWMA will provide the schools with a pictorial PowerPoint of lessons learned by students and staff members.
“A waste audit is one way to get to know your waste and identify what could be recycled,” stated Yolanda Walker, SASWMA executive director. “The audits will provide the Green Council with a baseline to measure their success as well,” Mrs. Walker said.