Wahluke School Districts Garden and Sustainability director Derek Hunsaker has taken the lead in starting a District Green Team. The Green Team will focus on many projects such as distributing soil, seeds, and gardening containers for K-5 students during Spring with the meal distribution services. The Green Team will also create gardens at various schools and monitor water usage for grass maintenance. They will also be trying to create a Native Plant Expo area to showcase the beauty of low-water landscapes, follow through on the district composting site at the Wahluke High School, and connect with WSD departments and schools to participate.
One of the main initiatives the Green Team will focus on is recycling. WSD spends more than $11,000 per 8-yard dumpster per year for garbage service. 50% of what WSD throws away is recyclable or compostable, according to Grant County Solid Waste. The District Green Team created a sub-group to focus on just that. The WSD Recycling Group's goal is to expand recycling opportunities across the District and eventually set up a District-wide recycling program.
Members are currently setting up recycling bins in classrooms and facilities across the District. These bins will collect cans and plastic water bottles. Members volunteer to haul items to recycling locations and are recruiting staff members in their building to start recycling as well.
Thank you for Recycling at WSD
Starting this conversation and initiative allowed the District Recycling Group members to think about the District and community, their surroundings, and what is available at the moment.
Currently, Wahluke only recycles cardboard at an expense to the District. There are a few locations for our community to recycle as well. Grant County offers limited recycling at drop boxes in and around Mattawa. Glass and Cardboard recycling is available in 1st and Boundary road under the water tower, and other materials, including appliances off the highway between Mattawa and Desert Aire. There is plastic recycling through the Senior Center in DA. There are also individuals in DA and Mattawa who pick up aluminum cans for income. Currently, the Grant County Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) will continue to have drop boxes available to the community. Since Grant County is also not served by a Materials Recovery Facility, drop boxes could be in jeopardy.
The District Recycling Group hopes to connect with the community to create a partnership to promote recycling efforts and inform the community about options. Currently, the group is recruiting members and providing education lessons for classroom teachers related to science, nutrition, art, and sustainability.
WSD is excited for this initiative and the work that District Recycling Group members are doing to promote recycling and creating a sustainable system for the District. Make sure to follow the District Recycling Group's efforts on our website and social media platforms.