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DPS is Going Green


Durham Public Schools is “going green!” Over the past two years, DPS has boosted several initiatives to do our part to preserve the environment. Two of the most notable green activities have been an increased effort to recycle and the incorporation of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards in construction and renovation projects.

Recycling Efforts

Now in its second year of the consolidated waste and recycling contract, DPS has delivered more than 2,050 blue recycling bins to both schools and administrative sites. These blue bins allow students and employees to recycle mixed materials including paper, aluminum, glass and plastic. As a result of these increased recycling efforts, more than 340 tons of recycled materials are collected each school year.

Departments throughout DPS are joining the green initiative with their increased participation and support of recycling programs, including:

  • Internal and Warehouse Services has begun recycling discarded electronic equipment, textbooks, and all testing and benchmark booklets.
  • Warehouse Services established as a goal that at least 40 percent of all stocked items will be made from recycled materials.
  • The IT department is now surplussing all non-repairable equipment, and the items are shredded by an outside contractor.


DPS Recycling Procedures


    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

    The Construction and Planning Department has adopted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in the design of new schools and additions and expansions. LEED-certified buildings typically use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings, which are typically built to code.

    Some of the green initiatives being explored to receive LEED certification include:

    • Reducing building and landscaping water use;
    • Increasing the amount of recycled materials used in construction;
    • Installing CO2 monitoring;
    • Increasing the amount of natural daylight in classrooms and office; and,
    • Using low VOC emitting materials during construction.

    Aside from new construction, DPS Maintenance Services already has incorporated LEED goals at various locations by installing carpeting that is made of recyclable materials, using “green” certified floor tile, installing rain barrels and replacing lighting.

    More ‘Green’ Initiatives

    DPS is doing more than recycling and achieving LEED standards. Here are some examples of other ways that DPS is going green:

    • Instituting the Guaranteed Energy Savings Contracts that reduce energy consumption by replacing or modernizing building infrastructure systems;
    • Reducing the district’s carbon footprint by using Bio-Diesel fuel in all school buses and by installing Diesel Oxidation Catalyst on 100 of our older school buses;
    • Developing and expanding online training programs that save money and eliminate travel distances for employees; and,
    • Reducing water consumption and use of cooking oil, as well as selling used cooking oil for conversion to bio-fuel.

    DPS has launched numerous programs to lead the way in energy conservation and environmental preservation. Our goal is not only to improve our operations, but also to influence our community to go green as well. The district will continue to explore new initiatives to build a more sustainable and eco-friendly future for the community.