Success Story: Talbot Hill Elementary School

  • School District: Renton
    School Location: Renton
    Began participating in the Green Schools Program: October 2012
    Level One of the Green Schools Program: May 2013


    Waste Reduction and Recycling (Level One)

    • Talbot Hill has a school-wide recycling program that includes recycling containers in all classrooms and offices, as well as milk carton recycling at breakfast and lunch.
    • Talbot Hill integrated waste reduction and recycling into everyday curriculum by working with micro-society classes twice per week to build and care for worm bins, learn about plants in an organic gardening center, and incorporate recycling lessons in core subjects.
    • To ensure that Talbot Hill’s recyclable materials were free of contaminants, students sorted recyclable materials in the “R-Kids” recycling center before taking them to the outdoor recycling Dumpster.
    • One micro-society class reused materials, such as broken hula hoops, used cardboard boxes, paper used on one side and old t-shirts to make items such as basketball hoops and student journals.
    • The school participates in the TerraCycle recycling collection program, in which materials such as juice pouches, granola bar wrappers and chip bags are collected and sent to TerraCycle to “up cycle” them into backpacks, clipboards, pencil cases, waste baskets and fences.
    • Green Team students gave classroom presentations, created posters and made a short video to educate students and staff about the school’s waste reduction and recycling practices.
    • Green Team students monitored recycling and TerraCycle collection stations every day at breakfast, as well as two times per week at lunches.
    • Students in one micro-society class participated in field trips to the King County Cedar Hills Regional Landfill and the local recycling center to learn about recycling.
    • The school reduced food waste by setting up a share table in the cafeteria during breakfast and lunch.
    • To reduce paper use, staff communications and teacher newsletters were sent via email, and several classrooms set up paper reuse bins for paper that has been printed on one side only.
    • Staff reduced waste by using durable plates, glasses, and utensils in their staffroom.



    For more information about the school’s conservation achievements and participation in the Green Schools Program, contact:

    Jeanne Kalnick, librarian
    Jonathan Stine, resource conservation and safety manager, Renton School District