Healthy Schools P2 Projects 2005

Schools are highly visible members of the community, and waste reduction provides the opportunity to set an example for the community. Practicing waste reduction and P2 in schools teaches environmental responsibility. By emphasizing the importance of these approaches to their students, teachers can help instill habits that will be of value the rest of their lives.

By reducing hazardous materials and wastes at the source, steps are being taken towards eliminating pollutants that would otherwise be released to the environment. Minimizing chemicals in school classrooms, facilities maintenance, and bus maintenance departments will reduce hazardous and toxic wastes; improve safety for students, teachers, and maintenance staff; and improve the environment.

The communities receiving funding are as follows:

  • Ann Arbor Public Schools, Washtenaw County; $20,000
  • Blissfield Community Schools, Lenawee County; $15,200
  • Comstock Public Schools, Kalamazoo County; $18,000
  • Detroit Public Schools, Wayne County $23,940
  • Fennville Public Schools, Allegan County; $15,000
  • Forest Hills Public Schools, Kent County; $20,000
  • Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kent County; $21,000
  • Hesperia Community Schools, Newaygo County; $11,000
  • Lansing School District, Ingham County; $24,000
  • North Star Academy, Marquette County; $22,980
  • Parchment School District, Kalamazoo County; $20,000
  • Brandywine Community Schools, Berrien County; $5,556
  • Bronson Community Schools, Branch County; $23,593
  • Clinton County Department of Waste Management, Clinton County; $24,000
  • Copper Country Intermediate School District, Houghton County; $18,328
  • Rochester Community Schools, Oakland County; $24,000
  • Romeo Community Schools, Macomb County; $24,000
  • St. Johns Public Schools, Clinton County; $24,000
  • Van Buren Public Schools, Van Buren County; $24,000
  • Wyandotte Public Schools, Wayne County; $23,920

PROJECT RESULTS: 

Summary:
Year: 2005 & 2006
Grant Type: Community P2
Focus: Removal, reduce the use and best management of toxic chemicals in schools

Background:
The grants promoted the disposal of toxic chemicals already on-site, the reduction in usage through purchasing greener products and implementation of best management practices for chemicals that remain in use. Areas of the school reviewed included: class rooms such as arts, biology and chemistry; medical supplies; shop; janitorial; and maintenance of the grounds, buildings and transportation.

Project funds were used for staff time to inventory and develop best management practices for chemicals and/or the purchases of software to track their chemical usage. Best management practices included guidance on alternatives, purchasing, labeling, and storage. Alternatives included the use of non-toxic alternatives such as micro-laboratory methods in the classroom.

Environmental Benefits:
As a group, the schools disposed of about 23,000 pounds of toxic chemicals which included over 2,492 pounds of mercury, mercury compounds and mercury containing equipment, such as thermometers, thermostats, and blood pressure cuffs.

The most significant environmental and health benefit from the program was achieved through the schools implementing practices that reduced the use and purchases of toxics. The removal and disposal of toxic chemicals helped to protect the current children and teachers from exposure. But by implementing purchases of non-toxic alternatives and reducing the use of toxic chemicals, these schools protected school children and teachers of future generations as well as increased safety and reduced costs for disposal and spill cleanups.