Annually, Washington State Recycling Association recognizes individuals, businesses, government agencies and community organizations with Recycler of the Year awards.  Recipients of the awards are distinguished for their outstanding contributions to strengthening and expanding recycling and waste prevention practices across the state.

This year Bellevue School District and the city of Bellevue were the recipient of the “Youth Education – School District’s Green Genius Zero Waste Cafeteria Challenge,” award.

The award recognized a few outstanding achievements:

  • ALL schools in the district have reduced garbage dumpster sizes or pickup frequencies.  Schools are at a 50 percent or higher recycling rate, with the top school at 75 percent.
  • All schools have composting collection.
  • Elementary schools are switching to reusable trays
  • A districtwide requirement since 2011 called the “Green Genius” program for all schools to participate in achieving annual resource conservation goals.

The district and city’s “Zero Waste Cafeteria Challenge” was also spotlighted in the award.  The elementary school contest has been highly successful and competitive, with 90-95 percent of all elementary schools participating annually, resulting in more than 7,000 students each year learning how to reduce waste at lunch and at home.