Lake Washington School District receives national environmental award

In 2012, custodians at Lake Washington School District (LWSD) decided to move their schools in a greener direction, and nearly five years later, their efforts paid off with the top level Green Cleaning award.

The award is presented by the American School and University Magazine and recognizes education institutions that implement environmentally friendly practices.

Kathryn Reith, communications director for the district, said the benefits to their enhanced cleaning processes are twofold.

“Certainly some people are chemically sensitive, so there is a health benefit to reducing the numbers and kinds of chemicals,” she said. “There is an environmentally friendly aspect, so we want to make sure that we are good stewards of the environment around us.”

LWSD received the top award, followed by a silver-award winner and an honorable mention for K-12 districts.

The 2017 Grand Award for higher education went to Western Michigan University.

Reith said the drive to improve environmental practices was initiated from the ground up.

“I think it really came out of the support services department,” she said.

According to the magazine’s website, the head custodians from the districts’ 43 sites worked to evaluate the effectiveness of the new products and procedures.

This resulted in the district reducing the number of regular cleaning chemicals to four as well as color-coding microfiber cloths so chemicals don’t mix.

A slew of other changes to their procedure were implemented, ranging from using 40 percent recycled material in all paper products and using chemical dispensers using highly concentrated containers to reduce waste.

The 110 LWSD custodians serve 29,000 students and are responsible for maintaining nearly 3.7 million square feet with an annual cleaning budget of more than $8.2 million.

More in News

Redmond planning commissioner Vanessa Kritzer announced she will be running for Redmond City Council, Pos. 5. Kritzer is a first-time candidate for office. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Kritzer Facebook.
Kritzer announces candidacy for Redmond council

She will run for Pos. 5 in the election.

Despite Supreme Court Ruling, activists fight youth incarceration in King County

No New Youth Jail Coalition members send Valentines to King County officials asking them to reconsider funding priorities

Eastside students travel to Olympia to support plastic straw ban

Lake Washington High School students and the “Straw Kids” testified for SB 5077.

Southbound traffic backs up as northbound drivers cruise on with ease on the Highway 99 viaduct on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
WSDOT hopes ‘Viadoom’ habits continue

The department credits commuters with adapting to the closure and mitigating impacts.

President’s emergency declaration sparks immediate legal backlash

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his team will sue the White House if federal funds originally intended for Washington state are interrupted.

Bill targets sexual health curriculum in Washington schools

Senate Bill 5395 is co-sponsored by 17 Democratic representatives and introduced by Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Federal Way.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline.
Study shows King County’s treatment funding is making progress

A document on the county’s .1 percent health sales tax was accepted Wednesday by the county council.

Children’s play area at Seadrunar. Photo by Lauren Davis via Facebook
Seedy side of Seadrunar: Drug rehab center accused of neglect, exploitation

Public records reveal that Seattle facility was accused of neglecting children and clients in its care.

Most Read