School Custodians go out of their way to help schools reduce waste. Schools in Castro Valley have high recycling and composting or “diversion” rates in large part due to the efforts of custodians. Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan) recently recognized school custodians with its Ninth Annual CVSan Custodian Recognition. This year, the Custodian 4Rs Educator Award went to Custodian Mario Baker at Castro Valley Elementary School (CVE).
The staff at CVE recognize and appreciate the contribution Mario makes to reduce waste at school. “Mario works with the students at lunch to show them the proper way to sort materials and oversees lunch monitors who help clean up after lunch,” said Principal Affie Sklut. Teacher Keith Brazil said “Each day, Mario does an amazing job of working with his student helpers to ensure that trash, compost, and recycling are going into the right containers. The students really enjoy helping out and are even willing to give up some of the recess time to do so.” And long-time Teacher and Green Ribbon Coordinator at CVE, Kitty Goursolle said, “Mario sets up recycling stations all around the playground so that kids can recycle after snack recess time. He makes sure that every classroom's recycling, organics, and trash all are correctly sorted. Mario really is at the heart of our Green Team at CVE.”
As the Custodian 4Rs Educator award winner, Mario exemplifies the educating spirit in waste reduction. As a result of his efforts and the support of students and teachers, CVE was able to reduce garbage service 25 percent per week this past December. This increased the school’s overall diversion (recycling) rate to 89 percent, one of the highest rates in the school district. The move to a smaller garbage bin also saves the school thousands of dollars per year in garbage fees!