The Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission encourages waste reduction from the cities and counties within the landfill’s service area to reduce the amount of materials entering the Black Hawk County Sanitary Landfill. The resources on this page can help you green your facility!
Green Your Facility!
Schools and educational centers can benefit economically (while helping the environment) when you take steps to “green” your site!
Perform a waste audit
- Everyone makes trash – it’s just a fact of life! Assessing the types of waste and amounts generated can help you determine ways to reduce the amount of waste that your school facility generates.
Recycle cardboard, office paper, newspaper, cans, and more!
- Consider having an additional dumpster placed on site specifically for recyclables. Collection fees may apply.
- Check with your garbage hauler to see if they can also provide recycling services.
- Contact a commercial recycling company.
- Check with your City Clerk about recycling items through your city’s municipal program. Some cities with curbside collections may also be willing to pick up from their schools.
- Printable recycling signs for your school.
Provide recycling during school events and fundraisers
- Green your facility AND events too! The Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission has portable recycling frames, bags and cleaning supplies that can be borrowed for your next event to collect plastic bottles, 5 cent deposit containers, and paper.
Start a package recycling program
- Create a Terracycle Brigade to recycle certain types of juice and applesauce pouches, snack packaging, chip bags, and other difficult to recycle items that are typically found in kids’ sack lunches.
Reduce school food waste
- Conduct a food waste audit and learn ways to maintain a sustainable balance in reducing food insecurity and waste through the Food Waste Minimization Toolkit for Iowa Schools.
- Try these strategies to help prevent wasted food through school meals.
- Consider working with a local company to collect food waste, napkins, and other paper products at school to send to a composting facility or biodigester. A variety of companies also sell compostable and biodegradable tableware that can be collected by these companies.
- Printable composting signs for your lunch room.
Encourage “green” sack lunches too!
- A waste-free lunch program is a process of educating students, parents, and school staff about the use of reusable food and drink containers, utensils, and napkins. Waste-free programs discourage the use of disposable packaging, such as plastic bags, juice boxes and pouches, paper napkins, and disposable utensils.
- The Waste Trac Education Team has created a
Low Waste Lunch Guide for you to use:
- To encourage cold lunch kids at your school to pack less garbage.
- Prior to your next off-site field trip, since many area parks are now considering “Carry-in, Carry-Out” garbage policies. Challenge your students to count the pieces of garbage in their sack lunch, and then reduce that number next time!
- When packing for your family’s next picnic or camping trip!
Become a “GreenSchool“
- Project Learning Tree’s program offers training for adults, tips on starting a student-driven GreenSchools program, how to obtain equipment and collect data, and ways to empower your students to design and lead an action project that uses their STEM skills on topics such as waste and recycling, energy, water, and environmental quality.
Take the “Cool School Challenge”
- Do kids and administrators at your school know how much energy or water they use on a daily basis? Did you know there are assessment tools available to help identify inefficiencies and make decisions about ways to green your facility?
Calculate your footprint
- Older students can evaluate their impact on the planet based on their family’s home size, vehicle, the food choices they make, and energy conservation practices that they use at home with this calculator.