Resource Conservation

Summer Break Preparations for Classrooms

We are facing a budget crisis, so please do your part to help us save energy by taking home appliances, ornamental lights, and chargers.

 Conservation summer break - FINAL.pdf Summer break banner

Last April our utility bill was $700,000. We can avoid much of this expense by turning off and unplugging, shutting our rooms up tight and taking home personal appliances. Carefully sorting recycling and composting  keeps us from paying for higher cost garbage disposal. Energy use especially can add up fast! One open window can cost $25/hour in lost heat.


Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has three Resource Conservation Specialists in the Facilities Operations Department. Their focus is to manage current utility expenses (electricity, natural gas, water/sewer, and solid waste) through low-cost/no-cost operating strategies. Seattle Public Schools includes over 9 million square feetof buildings, spends over $8,000,000 every year on utility bills, and uses enough electricity to power about 4,600 residential homes.

NRC Procedures Review June 12 - July 14, 2017
Reviewing Natural Resources Conservation Procedures


Our work builds on the District's Natural Resources Conservation Policy H25.00, Natural Resources Conservation Procedures H25.01, Resolution 2006/2007-18 (Climate Change), and Resolution 2012/13-12 (GreenResolution). In addition, we report annual energy use to the City of Seattle using Energy Star's Portfolio Manager and follow the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol for new buildings.

SPS District-wide 2015-16 Conservation Results:

- Reduced energy use by 15%
- Reduced water use by 8%
- Increased recycling by 20%

In 2015/16 we reduced annual District-wide energy and water use and increased recycling for the fifth consecutive year. The District realized in excess of approximately $1.44 million in avoided costs due to utility conservation efforts.

School-year (10-month) conservation goals for each building are part of the Shared Savings Program (see link below).

Reducing utility use has resulted in savings that enable a greater investment in our core mission of excellence in education.

Current Initiatives

Resource Conservation Specialists work closely with schools, community partners, and other departments to promote a wide range of work. Currently we are focusing on:

Utility Conservation Programs: Shared Savings Award and Utility Data; Green Team Support; Conservation Champion Award

Composting and Recycling Transitioning all schools to mandatory food waste composting and upgrading current recycling programs.   

Benchmarking utility use with the District's Utility Manager database, and with U.S. EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager.

Recent Accomplishments

Below is an example of just some of the recent accomplishments of the Seattle Public School District.

- Received recycling and waste reduction grant to conduct waste reduction pilot, start voluntary composting programs, and evaluate recyclable/compostable/durable food service ware = $100,000+ grant AND savings of $15,000+ annually on garbage costs
- Install and maintain energy saving software on 22,000+ computers. Avoided costs = $200,000 annually.
- Developed new solid waste contract starting in 2012/13 to encourage waste reduction. Avoided costs = $310,000 annually.
- Right-sized garbage and recycling containers. Avoided costs = $90,000 annually.
- Identified utility billing errors. Avoided costs = $23,000 annually
- Awarded two Performance Incentive Grant from Puget Sound Energy for reducing natural gas use District-wide = $58,000.
- Catharine Blaine K-8 solar panels and Hamilton Int'l Middle School solar panels

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Contact Us

Resource Conservation Specialists

Rina Fa'amoe-Cross

Bonnie Meyer

MS 23-365
PO Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124

Additional Links

Composting and Recycling

Utility Conservation

Heating and Cooling Info
(Waiver Form)

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