School administrators—including school boards and district superintendents—are essential to ensuring recycling programs are successful on school campuses. School boards can institutionalize resource conservation practices by adopting clear environmental policies. District superintendents can implement these policies by outlining adopting school operating procedures that outline a series of actions that reduce the environmental impacts of day-to-day activities.
Clear environmental leadership from district administrators empowers principals, teachers, students, faculty, parents, and community partners to cultivate sustainable materials management and other resource conservation efforts into the school district’s culture.
CalRecycle has compiled the following resources to help school administrators draft and implement environmental policies in their school districts.
Sample Policies and Procedures
School Board Environmental Policies
- The California School Board Association (CSBA) Policy Services offers sample Board policies and administrative regulations, including sample board policy and administrative regulation on integrated waste management that addresses mandatory commercial recycling and purchasing recycled and other environmentally preferable products.
- Alameda Unified School District Environmental Sustainability Resolution No. 2016-2017.68.
- Berkeley Unified School District’s Resolution Establishing a Green Procurement and Sustainable Procedures Policy for Berkeley Schools
- Niagra Catholic District School Board’s Environmental Policy
School District Communications to School Principals
- Ukiah Unified School District superintendent’s memo to school principals regarding recycling and other integrated waste management programs
Green schools minimize the impact of their operations on the environment through more efficient use of energy and other natural resources, reduced use of toxic materials, and efforts to improve indoor/outdoor air quality. These practices have been found to produce a number of health, academic, financial, and environmental benefits, including:
- Reduced rates of asthma, respiratory tract infections and disease, allergic reactions, and other health conditions
- Improved student attendance and academic performance
- Cost savings on utilities and buildings
- Lower emissions of pollutants
- Conservation of natural resource
School Communications to Parents and Students
When your environmental policy is adopted, publicize it widely throughout your school district. Communicate the policy to students and parents by sending home a notice that references related program information in student/parent handbooks.
- The San Diego Unified School District Recycling Program Handbookis a step-by-step guide to help schools begin or improve campus recycling programs, including sample announcements and letters to parents and outside organizations using the school facilities.
- The Oak Hills Elementary School Handbook (2008-2009)PDF download outlines the schools recycling achievements as well as expectations.
For more information contact: Schools Program, email@example.com.