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Ceremony Honors Students of DC Recycle Right! Competition

Friday, December 15, 2017

Ceremony Honors Students of DC Recycle Right! Competition

Program Helps Propel DC Toward Zero Waste Goal

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Thirteen DC Public Schools competed in the third annual DC Recycle Right! Competition, which rewards schools for ‘Recycling Right’ – not just for recycling more – but also by encouraging correct recycling behavior in classrooms and common areas. This year’s winners were recognized at the Growing Healthy Schools Month Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Office for the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) on December 15, 2017 at Thurgood Marshall Academy.

Students participating in the competition engaged in real-world data collection by conducting weekly surveys of recycling and trash bins to assess the number of bins used correctly and incorrectly. Teams established a baseline, then took action over the course of the four-week competition to improve bin survey results and recycling correctness.

“Our city has set a goal to divert 80% of its waste from DC-area landfills. We know that approximately 80% of waste in schools is potentially recyclable or compostable. This means to achieve our goal, we will need to ‘Recycle Right’ all the time. "Through their knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm, participants in the Recycle Right! Competition are teaching their peers to become a new generation of environmental stewards,” said Greer Johnson Gillis, Director of the DC Department of General Services (DGS).

Three schools are being recognized with first place awards for their achievement in this competition:

Burroughs Elementary School wins Highest Performance award for maintaining the largest percentage of correct bins throughout the competition. On average, 96% of Burroughs’ bins were correct.

Tyler Elementary School wins Most Improved for improving their percentage of correct bins by 35 percentage points from week 1 to week 4 – more than any other participant.

Wilson High School wins Most Replicable Solution for developing a method to improve sorting that other schools can easily adapt. Their AP Environmental Science students participated in the competition as part of their class and will connect their data with a curriculum.

This competition occurred as DC expanded the list of recyclable items and shared new resources for learning how to Recycle Right, making it easier for all District residents to correctly sort items at home, work, and school.

Inspired by the Green Schools Alliance’s Green Cup Challenge, the DC Recycle Right! Competition occurs each October as part of Growing Healthy Schools Month, and is run by the DCPS Recycles! program through the DC Department of General Services (DGS). DGS will be hosting the Reduce First! Challenge in February 2018, giving schools the chance to compete once again with creative solutions for reducing waste in their buildings.

The following schools participated in this year’s competition:

Burroughs Elementary School (Ward 5) † Key Elementary School (Ward 3) †

Cardozo Education Campus (Ward 1) † Roosevelt High School (Ward 4) *

Dorothy I. Height Elementary School (Ward 4) * Seaton Elementary School (Ward 6)

Drew Elementary School (Ward 7) * School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens (Ward 2) †

Hardy Middle School (Ward 2) Tyler Elementary School (Ward 6) *

J.O. Wilson Elementary School (Ward 6) † Woodrow Wilson High School (Ward 3)

Janney Elementary School (Ward 3) †

† - Indicates school participated in 2015 and 2016 Recycle Right! Competitions

* - Indicates school participated in 2016 Recycle Right! Competition

For more information, please visit dgs.dc.gov/page/dgs-healthy-schools.