No one likes to see things go to waste. Unfortuantely, as the school year draws to a close, many locker items simply get thrown away because it is just “easier”. One of the CCS Green Team members ran a very efficient and effective all-school locker clean out for Clay Middle School that was designed to have as little as possible go into the trash. Wendy DeLuca has outlined for us all how to run such an event. Thank you, Wendy, for leading such a worthwhile project to minimize waste!
At Clay, by coordinating with school administration we helped first to educate students through periodic school announcements during the month of May, encouraging them to start taking things home that had accumulated in their lockers. Then the week of locker clean out we had daily announcements, some to suggest to bring certain items home each day. Meanwhile we coordinated parent volunteers to be in the hallways during locker clean-out to encourage the kids to firstly, bring home as much as possible
or use next year (its amazing how kids think money grows on trees & that their parent will be happy to buy them a calculator each year!). Secondly we encouraged them to put recyclable items into boxes we had placed next to the trash cans. (We also spent time, sometimes with students helping) retrieving items form the trash bins that could be recycled or reused.)
Ideally it would be best to have 3 bins: trash, items for co-mingled recycling, & items for re-use. We amassed the amazing amount of items for re-use in the school media center & organized it. The media center specialist then emailed staff that they could come & take what they could use for their class/students next year. A day or so later, after teachers picked over the goodies, I then put what remained in my mini-van & took it to Teacher’s Treasures
. (In previous years we had also donated the items to IPS & Teach for America.)
Attached are documents from our efforts at Clay for locker clean-out. Perhaps with this as a starting point you can more easily assist at your school in educating & helping the students to reduce, reuse & recycle!
Several Weeks worth of announcements having students take home certain items each week so that the final locker clean out day isn’t so overwhelming! Download the Announcements for Locker Clean Out
Wendy had only half of each grade go at a time so that it was not so overwhelming. Good idea! Each group had 20 minutes to clean out their locker. Attached is the information to Volunteer information and outline of schedule
they used on that day for each grade.