King County Navigation Bar (text navigation at bottom)
King County Green Schools Program King County Green Schools Program  

Success Story: Grand Ridge Elementary School

[+] EnlargeGrand Ridge Elementary School

Grand Ridge Elementary

4th grade students from Mrs. Pathak’s class empty classroom recyclable materials into hallway recycling container

[+] EnlargeGrand Ridge Elementary School

A first grader in Mrs. Holzer’s class recycles paper

[+] EnlargeGrand Ridge Elementary School

Earth Hero at School Award

Grand Ridge received the King County award in April 2011.

[+] EnlargeGrand Ridge Elementary School

Students recycle in their lunchroom.

School District: Issaquah
School Location: Issaquah
Began Participating in the Green Schools Program: September 2010

Level One of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in November 2010
Level Two of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in May 2012

Waste Reduction and Recycling (Level One)

  • Grand Ridge Elementary has continued to improve its recycling rate, which increased during 2011-12 from 62 percent to 65 percent, through a school-wide program that includes classroom, office and lunchroom recycling.
  • Students placed stickers listing what can and can’t be recycled on recycling containers throughout the school.
  • Sixty student volunteers called Earth Heroes from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades help monitor lunchroom recycling and garbage containers to ensure proper recycling and waste disposal.
  • In the 2009-10 school year, students collected food scraps one week each month for onsite composting. The finished compost was used in the school garden, the Grizzly Patch, which volunteers maintain by weeding and removing non-native plants.
  • With assistance from the City of Issaquah, the school collects its lunchroom food scraps and other compostable materials for delivery to Cedar Grove Composting.
  • Along with all schools in the Issaquah School District, Grand Ridge’s lunchroom eliminated the use of wrapped straws and uses durable trays that are washed and reused.
  • When it’s not possible to use durable trays, the lunchroom uses compostable paper trays instead of polystyrene trays.
  • All utensils provided for school lunches are compostable.
  • Students created a video and visual signs demonstrating which materials should be recycled and composted.
  • The school promotes recycling at school-wide events and at events sponsored by the PTSA. Recycling receptacles are conspicuously placed at the annual Walk-A-Thon, Field Day, and other events.
  • Grand Ridge Elementary significantly reduced paper use by converting to electronic newsletters and fliers instead of paper copies.
  • Scratch pads made from paper used on one side are in the staff workroom for use by teachers.
  • Classrooms, offices, and workrooms have G.O.O.S. (Good On One Side) boxes to collect paper used on one side, allowing students and staff to reduce waste by using paper more efficiently.
  • The school posts reminders to use only one or two sheets of paper towels in every bathroom.

Energy Conservation (Level Two)

  • Every room, including classrooms, bathrooms and conference rooms has a reminder to shut off lights each time people leave the room.
  • The school created an Energy Conservation Checklist for each classroom to be complete at the end of the day.
  • An energy pledge was created to be sung by students to remind them about how they are helping the Earth.
  • The school posted reminders on all outside doors to shut doors in order to save energy.
  • Third grade students collect and recycle alkaline batteries and fluorescent light bulbs to bring to Home Depot for proper disposal. As of June 2012, this has saved over 4,000 batteries from going into the landfill.
  • Third grade students posted signs throughout the school with reminders of how energy conservation protects salmon habitat and the earth.


  • Grand Ridge received a King County Earth Hero at School award in April 2011.
  • Two members of the Grand Ridge staff and one 3rd grade class received King County Earth Hero awards in April 2012.

For more information about this school’s conservation achievements and participation in the Green Schools Program, contact:

Leslie Lederman, assistant principal
Renée DeTolla, 3rd grade teacher
Ashley Hirst, 1st grade teacher
John Macartney, resource conservation manager, Issaquah School District

top of page

Updated: Oct. 10, 2012

King County | News | Services | Contact | Search

Links to external sites do not constitute endorsements by King County.
By visiting this and other King County Web pages,
you expressly agree to be bound by terms and conditions of the site.
The details.