Cute children looking at plastic bottles in recycling box in classroom

Davis School District, in Salt Lake City, Utah, has proven that making simple, green program choices can result in improved health, less impact on the environment, and budgetary savings that any department can rally behind.

According to Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC), the district has successfully reduced the use of chemicals, reinvested tens of thousands of dollars a year, reduced waste by more than 20 percent and almost eliminated job turnover within the department.

Just some of the changes the green cleaning department at Davis has adapted in the past four years include:
 • An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy that has been ratified by the school board and reduced pesticides by more than 99 percent.
 • A 95 percent decrease in the use of floor strippers.
 • A change from the use of standard paper products to coreless, 50 percent post-consumer waste/65 percent recycled, Ecologo certified paper products.

In addition to those ongoing processes, Davis School District is focusing on waste reduction. The classroom recycling programs focus on paper waste, while cafeteria programs  have aluminum, plastic, and paper recycling. Rounding out the recycling program, metals are being collected in the Maintenance and Construction departments.

The recycling program has diverted a large amount of waste away from landfills, but the district didn't stop there. According to HSC, the district is in the early phase of implementing organic recycling in all schools. This includes the collection of food waste, which is taken to a local anaerobic digester and converted into usable energy and fertilizer. That specific program is outlined here.