Keep Austin Beautiful is proud to announce Baty Elementary School as the 2018 Zero Waste Champions.
This annual award recognizes Austin-area schools for outstanding efforts to reduce waste and is made possible through a Keep Austin Beautiful partnership with Longhorn IMG Sports Marketing and the Bleed Orange, Live Green initiative. This year, we were excited to recognize Baty as the first Del Valle ISD school to receive this award.
During the 2017-2018 school year, every first grade class at Baty participated in Keep Austin Beautiful’s Generation Zero education program, presented in partnership with Austin Resource Recovery. Participating students learned how to use single stream recycling and started their own classroom worm composting bin. Although the Baty campus does not currently have access to single-stream recycling or large-scale composting services, the students and teachers have been determined to hone and expand their own recycling and composting efforts. The first-grade students have led the way by collecting single-stream recyclables in their classrooms. They take turns as classroom custodians to monitor bins, rinse containers, and guide peers to recycle correctly. When the recycling bins fill up, the first grade teachers haul the recycling home to place in their residential single-stream bins. Other initiatives include replacing Styrofoam containers with reusable lunch trays in the cafeteria and an outdoor composting system maintained by the second and fifth graders. Baty Student Council leads school-wide paper recycling for even more impact.
All these efforts expand on Keep Austin Beautiful’s bilingual English and Spanish lessons to make recycling and composting accessible for everyone. The Baty first graders even updated Keep Austin Beautiful’s recycling song so it would rhyme in Spanish:
Papel, Plástico, Metal, Vidrio (Paper, plastic, metal, glass)
Cuando reciclo – ¡Siento orgulloso! (When I recycle, I feel proud!)
In recognition of Baty Elementary’s ambitious efforts to achieve zero waste goals, Keep Austin Beautiful presented the school with a $500 prize to continue waste reduction efforts on their campus. Student representatives, faculty, and staff from Baty were also awarded tickets to attend the University of Texas Football game on Saturday, October 13, and were recognized for their award on the field.