Athens Services Sustainability Manager Jessica Aldridge, left, joined the staff and students of Cathedral Chapel School in Los Angeles to celebrate the school’s Silver “recycLA Star” award for its recycling program.
The City of Los Angeles has awarded Athens Services customer, Cathedral Chapel School, a Silver “recycLA Star” award for its recycling program, making it the first school in the city to receive the award. The recycLA Stars program recognizes businesses that embrace recycLA’s recycling, landfill diversion, and food rescue opportunities.
“Beyond increasing recycling, recycLA Stars are actively engaged in food recovery, changes in materials sourcing, composting and making other contributions to landfill diversion,” said Athens Sustainability Manager Jessica Aldridge.
“They are investing in new business practices and taking action to achieve the highest levels of recycling. They work with their tenants, employees, and customers to provide information about how recycling improves our health and quality of life in our neighborhoods and the environment, and demonstrate to all Angelenos how easy it is to participate in recycLA.”
The 280-student, private Catholic elementary school has been separating recycling from trash under the recycLA program. In May 2018, school administrators agreed to complete a Zero Waste school pilot program to increase the school’s diversion rate.
Since starting the program, the school has reduced its service from three days a week to twice a week. Each classroom has trash and recycling containers, as does the playground, where lunch waste is sorted into trash, recycling and organics waste.
Athens Recycling Coordinator Susan Houlden partnered with school administrators and staff to launch a school-wide education campaign. Activities included training and updating grounds staff, sending email blasts to parents and guardians, educating new families, placing flyers in parent welcome packets, and posting signage throughout the school. The school has begun recycling textbooks and is exploring getting containers for battery recycling.
“They were able to implement a successful organics program because they educated their staff and students about how to sort out their waste into separate bins,” Susan said.
“Along with the training sessions, they reviewed information about recycling and the new organics program at an all-school assembly and a back to school night for parents. As a result, their students now understand the positive impact they are making by separating out their waste and diverting organics from the landfill.”
“We are pleased to be recognized as the first school in Los Angeles to receive a recycLA Star,” said Administrative Assistant Karen Hall, who spearheaded the school’s program. “We are very proud of our achievement! We proudly display our Silver Star award in the school foyer for all to see. We want to improve our efforts in the coming year to earn a GOLD Star!”