WSD project wins ‘Sustainable School’ award

School district focuses on 'going cartonless' with milk-dispensing systems to help save environment

The Washington State Department of Ecology recently selected the Washougal School District for its Waste Not Washington Sustainable School Award, which promotes sustainability and rewards school efforts to reduce waste, recycle and teach environmental curriculum.

“It’s rare to find a school district where this passion is just as strong with the superintendent as it is with the students. Superintendent Mary Templeton is dedicated to and supportive of this work, (which is) happening in every school in Washougal School District,” Shannon Brennan of EarthGen, a Seattle-based non-profit organization which provides a framework for K-12 school communities to take long term action and earn recognition for their commitment to make a healthier, more sustainable campus, said in a news release. “Washougal School District has demonstrated time and time again their dedication to  healthy, sustainable school communities.” 

The district received $4,300 from Ecology and $1,500 from Waste Connections for its efforts to install milk dispensers at Gause Elementary School during the 2019-20 school year, and plans to use the money to implement the “Going Milk Carton-less” project at its other schools. 

“By adding the use of milk dispensers in every school cafeteria, we would be meeting the federal requirement of providing milk while allowing students to get as much or as little as they want at each meal service,” Margaret Rice, the district’s career and technical education director, said in the news release. “We believe that these dispensers will be of great value, not only in the elimination of the cartons but the reduction in milk waste.”