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Getting 'greener' with new recycling initiative

Keller ISD is launching a new single stream recycling program, another step in becoming a “green” district.

The district is joining forces with Republic Services to recycle cardboard, plastic, aluminum and steel in addition to paper products which KISD currently recycles. Keller ISD had been participating in a paper recycling program through Abitibi-Consolidated. Single stream recycling allows all of these materials to be disposed of in the same receptacles to be sorted at a Republic material recovery facility.

Keller ISD is a proponent of recycling which saves natural resources, conserves energy, produces fewer air emissions and prolongs the life of our local landfills. It also presents an opportunity to teach students about environmental responsibility.

There are also financial benefits associated with the recycling program. The district is projected to save at least $100,000 in waste disposal costs through the first year of the program.

“While we’re excited we were able to find a way for the district to save some significant money, the true benefit is the ability to teach future generations how to live in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Frank Di Nella, KISD Director of Operations.

Republic Services is one of the nation’s largest providers of environmental services, owning and operating 79 material recovery facilities, 213 landfills and more than 70 landfill gas-to-energy plants. Republic also has the largest truck fleet and broadest service offering in the Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace.

Keller ISD’s Child Nutrition Services Department in partnership with Sodexo is also getting in on the “going green” act by transitioning from the use of disposable to reusable trays. Starting this fall, four campuses will move to reusable trays with additional schools following next spring.

Utilizing reusable trays will lessen the district’s waste output, and the savings from the purchase of the new trays is projected to be approximately half of what the purchase of Styrofoam trays would have cost. The district took advantage of a promotion from Cambro Manufacturing Company which allowed the Child Nutrition Department to receive a free case of trays for every three purchased.

“These ‘green’ initiatives are further proof of our district’s commitment to environmental and fiscal responsibility,” KISD Superintendent Dr. James Veitenheimer said.

Other “green” initiatives Keller ISD is involved in include harnessing geothermal energy and using eco-friendly cleaning products. The new Timber Creek High School also features a detention pond which collects runoff from across the campus site and then reuses it for on-site irrigation.