Schools find new ways to stay 'green'

COVINGTON - The Newton County School System continues to find and implement new ways to keep its schools a little more "green."

In early 2008, the school system introduced a new program that would make its janitorial services more environmentally friendly than before.

The Newton County Board of Education approved the $400,000 one-year contract in February. Since it was a new program, the system planned to monitor it for the next year to make sure it was beneficial both financially and environmentally.

At its December board meeting, school system officials brought to the board members another $400,000 one-year renewable contract with Associated Paper Inc. in Conyers to continue the services, including the cost for new equipment and equipment repairs and services.

"We have been well pleased with the services provided by Associated Paper and believe that this contract has been effective for the school system," NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley said in a memo to the board members.

Whatley said the program has been successful and fulfills several commitments to the school system by providing supplies of good quality that are reliable and easy to use; a master cleaning plan that ensures clean facilities; a training program that teaches the plan; timely repair and service; a sensitive and responsive vendor; and a cleaning standardization plan for all facilities. It also doesn't cost the school system extra money and could even be saving the system some money.

Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration at NCSS, reported in February that in the past about $400,000 has been budgeted for custodial supplies and materials and repairs and equipment purchases.

In order to further reduce their carbon footprint, the school system also provides several recycling programs at its facilities for paper, cardboard and Styrofoam trays, which are said to save the school system money on what would normally be used on trash receptacles and bins.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.