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Capital City Clean Up Program

Edmonton Public Schools has been a long-standing partner of the City of Edmonton Capital City Clean Up Program.  Keeping our neighbourhood and school areas clean is easy when everyone gets involved.

Teachers or students can lend a hand, make a video or learn about litter and wildlife. Make a difference in your school community with these Capital City Clean Up programs:

  • Junior Wildlife Ambassadors - Senior elementary students become Junior Wildlife Ambassadors by learning how to prevent litter from harming local wildlife.
  • Schoolyard Clean Up - Get your clean on by competing against all other Edmonton schools to win prizes for the tidiest school ground.

For more information, visit Capital City Clean Up!


Classroom Energy Monitors Program

Would you like your students to take a more active role in conserving energy in the classroom and school? Edmonton Public Schools EnviroMatters Office has developed a classroom energy monitoring program that involves students in daily actions to help the environment by conserving energy.

Students follow a checklist of daily activities that must be performed in the classroom such as turning off the classroom lights and switching off the printer or Smartboard before recess or lunch breaks.

Contact contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the EnviroMatters Office to get your Energy Monitors Program checklist and instructions!


Classroom Vermicomposting

Several of our district schools are engaged in classroom worm composting (vermicomposting) as a hands on way to teach students how to recycle and transform food waste into rich fertilizer.

The City of Edmonton has numerous resources to help you set up a vermicomposting bin in your school, including information booklets, online resources and workshops!

For further information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the EnviroMatters Office to set up your worm composting program today!  …and check out this video from the students at Florence Hallock School for some inspiration on how to engage your entire school in this program.


Closed-loop Recycling Projects

Edmonton Public Schools currently participates in closed-loop paper recycling through a partnership with Cascades Recovery Inc., which supplies district sites with paper towel and toilet paper products created from district paper waste.

In an effort to further advance the district organics recycling program, the EnviroMatters Office and the Infrastructure Maintenance Department have introduced a closed-loop composting initiative through the use of Edmonton Public School generated compost in district flower beds and gardens.


Community Electronic Waste Collection Drives

In February 2015, the Centre for Education (CFE) partnered with the district’s long-standing service provider, Shanked Computer Recycling, to support a free electronic waste recycling drive for all CFE staff.

The event was held for two weeks and staff members were encouraged to bring old electronic waste from home, to be placed in the large containment cages located in the atrium.  This collection drive was a rousing success and the first of its kind in the CFE.  Nearly 2 tonnes of electronic waste was collected by staff during the course of the event and subsequently diverted from the landfill!  The success of the program has turned it into an annual event at the Centre.

A second drive was piloted in the Infrastructure Maintenance building and nearly 1 tonne of electronic waste was collected by maintenance staff from their homes.  The success of these pilot projects has led the program to expand into district schools, in an effort to engage the school communities and give parents and students a safe and environmentally responsible outlet to recycle their electronic waste from home.

Contact the EnviroMatters Office to organize a community collection drive for your school!


Construction & Demolition Materials Recycling

New construction and demolition projects taking place in Edmonton Public Schools have created an opportunity to recycle and reduce the carbon footprint of the district. Programs available through the City of Edmonton have allowed the district to increase the diversion rate of various types of construction debris from the landfill.

The following materials are included in this recycling program:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Drywall
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Ceramics
  • Plastics
  • Asphalt/concrete*

C & D waste is either sent to specialized recycling processors or used in the City's operations.


District Records & RAMP

Edmonton Public Schools' RAMP (Records Appropriately Managed Program) was an initiative started to examine how the district's records, whether student, staff, or administrative, are being managed. The task was to make a more efficient and effective method for tracking and retaining all district records. The work resulted in the creation of "PinPoint", an electronic file management program aimed at creating a simplified, easy to access, safe, and secure file management system.

The following list provides some of the positive environmental impacts their initiative is having:

  • Less paper records = less demand for paper and paper production costs,
  • Less print toner = requires less toner cartridge waste in landfills,
  • Reduced records storage space = less heating and cooling for storage buildings,
  • Greater remote electronic access to documents = reduced travel to, and couriering between, storage locations and district schools,
  • Reduced printing, faxing and photocopying = less energy used as well as reduced toner and associated waste.

Examples of these savings would the elimination of printing 80,000 student report cards and approximately 10,000 student Individual Program Plans (IPPs) each June.

Staff can now view on line personnel files via remote access without having to travel to the central administrative building to view these documents.

Overall, this is another example of Edmonton Public Schools making progress towards the goal of district sustainability through the reduction of resource consumption.


Electronic Waste Recycling

Edmonton Public Schools have been partnered with Shanked Computer Recycling and participating in district electronic waste recycling for over 12 years.  Schools can accumulate computers, laptops, cell phones, tapes and various other types of electronics to be collected and recycled by certified receivers through the district e-recycling process below:

To learn more about how Shanked Computer Recycling safely and securely recycles district electronic waste, watch this video!


EnviroMatters Sticker Campaign

The annual Earth Day Lights Out Challenge runs in conjunction with the district's Light's Out initiative where schools and administration buildings can order free stickers for their classroom lights and other electrical devices reminding them to switch off when not in use.

This initiative is intended to increase awareness amongst district staff that energy conservation is an achievable way to reduce our carbon footprint. We hope students and staff will continue year round to take similar actions of turning off lights when not in use.

To get your EnviroMatters stickers, contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the EnviroMatters Office!


EnviroMatters Toolkit

The EnviroMatters Office has developed a one-page EnviroMatters Toolkit to inform district staff of available resources and action plans to implement sustainable initiatives in their schools. The toolkit outlines activities and programs under three main categories; Energy and Resource Conservation, Waste Reduction and Recycling and Environmental Education.

Review the list, make your selections and contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the EnviroMatters Office to receive the necessary resources to get started on your environmental projects!


Environment Week Canada

The district is actively engaged in promoting Environment Week and raising awareness about the activities that schools can participate in.  Alberta Environment would like to encourage your school to consider hosting a Green Stop during Environment Week. A Green Stop is an event organized by individuals, schools and community groups to educate, empower and engage other community members. You can do anything from workshops, displays, walks, talks, tours, clean-ups to hands on experiences with nature.

Share the passion you have for nature with your community!

Need ideas? Visit the Environment Week website and see the Green Stops being hosted this year.


EPCOR EnVest Stewardship Program

Edmonton Public Schools took part in the EPCOR EnVest Stewardship Program for energy and water conservation in commercial and industrial enterprises.  Through the EnVest program, EPCOR provided detailed audits of district buildings to find ways to curb consumption.  Engineering teams drew up designs and provided project management to retrofit district buildings in an effort to realize the environmental benefits and cost savings. 

That partnership allowed Edmonton Public Schools to achieve significant energy and water savings and led to a focus on more complex utility saving initiatives and energy performance contracts in the district.

For more information, please contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Green Asphalt Products

As a pilot project, Edmonton Public Schools is using an asphalt surface treatment called "RePLAY" to extend asphalt life. This product has been sprayed on a number of district school parking lots and roadways.

RePLAY is made from recycled material to obtain the polymer content (approximately 15% of the mix). The oil content of the product is made up mainly from soy, but also contains canola. This is in contrast to other products that make use of non-renewable petroleum based content. RePLAY is non-toxic, biodegradable, and is safe for the surrounding plants, animals and humans if there is any run off. There are also virtually no VOC's (volatile organic compounds).

The continual maintenance of roads has an environmental impact. By reducing the need to apply heated tar treatments, repaving, or resurfacing roads, the level of negative impact made by the paving companies is reduced. Therefore, by helping the roads and parking lots last longer, it will also help the environment.


Green Cleaning Products Program

The district's Green Clean Committee formed with the goal of implementing a green cleaning program. The program includes the standardization of custodial chemical purchasing and chemical management practices. Over the past years the committee has worked to establish standards and define criteria for determination as to what a green cleaning product is.

In 2010 a number of environmental cleaning products were tested in select district schools and the result was a number of approved green products that are used within all district sites by district staff.

These commercial products are only for purchase by district schools through the Distribution Centre and are not available through the retail market.

For more information on this program please contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Green Your Classroom Checklist

The EnviroMatters Green Your Classroom Checklist is a resource compiled by the EnviroMatters Office to provide district teachers and students with a list of environmental actions to take in their classroom to help save energy, conserve resources and reduce the overall environmental footprint of their school.

For more information and to get your free checklist, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the EnviroMatters Office.


Naturescapes, Community Gardens and Outdoor Classrooms

Edmonton Public Schools naturescapes, community gardens and outdoor classrooms are initiatives involving school communities that wish to increase or alter the green space around the school and provide an opportunity to teach outdoors.  Through partnership with Evergreen and assistance from the Planning Department and Facilities Services staff, over 30 Edmonton Public Schools have undertaken this initiative.  The Outdoor Classroom Institute is offered through Evergreen as free Professional Development course for teachers to experience hands on, curriculum-based activities in natural outdoor spaces.  Evergreen also offers evening workshops twice a year for district teachers to learn more about school greening projects. 

Several district schools also participate in the Little Green Thumbs indoor gardening program, which consists of all the necessary indoor gardening materials as well as support and training resources for teachers and/or leaders to run an indoor garden in their classroom from January to June each year.  The program also offers Growing Facilitators, as well as phone and email consultation to provide ongoing support in the classroom throughout the initial growing season.

The district is always looking for new opportunities and partnerships to support schools looking to adopt naturescape and community garden programs.  With that in mind, the EnviroMatters Office has developed a detailed step-by-step project plan for district schools looking to start these types of initiatives. Contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it today for a free copy of the outdoor spaces project resource!


Paper and Print Reduction in the Centre for Education

In 2007 the district Technology (ITS) department provided a study with recommendations for the reduction of paper and print technologies in the district. All district schools and departments can benefit from applying the recommendations to their own print strategies. District Technology has taken on the challenge of looking for ways to reduce energy consumption at each site by changing workstation settings to turn off monitors, Smartboards, projectors and desktop computers automatically after pre-set time periods. Where applicable, ITS recommends lower powered devices and solutions for schools such as laptops, Chromebooks and tablets instead of full desktop computers.

District Technology has also looked at ways to reduce environmental impacts through the reduction of print services and is currently involved in an enterprise print strategy for the Centre for Education. The learning from this initiative can be applied to all district sites.


Phone Book Reduction in the Centre for Education

In order to meet the goals of environmental conservation and sustainability, the staff of the Centre for Education has voluntarily reduced the number of phone book sets used. Within the first year, the number of book sets went from over 400 to just over 50 copies!  This decrease means the reduction of paper and energy involved in the production, distribution, and recycling of the phone books. Staff has switched to using the online version of the Yellow Pages and 411.ca as alternatives.

We would encourage all district schools to consider making similar changes. For more information on how your school can conserve, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Rain Barrel Water Conservation

Rain barrels are low-cost water conservation devices, used by district schools, to reduce runoff volume and provide a source of untreated water for gardens and compost.

Installing rain barrels at your school is an excellent way to maintain a sustainable landscape and complement existing naturescapes and school gardens.  The set up and use of rain barrels on school sites has helped to foster environmental stewardship and also acts as a teaching and learning tool for students, teachers, and members of the surrounding community.

Safe and secure rain barrels must be sealed and contained in a locked cage; they also require a concrete pad and adequate drainage away from the school. The EnviroMatters Office and Facilities Maintenance Department will work with interested schools to properly install the system and ensure all the necessary requirements are met.  Follow this link to review the installation process and steps involved when planning a rain barrel system for your school.

Contact the EnviroMatters Office at 780-429-8513 if you are interested in installing a rain barrel on your school site!


SLISE Program at Queen Elizabeth High School

SLISE (Student Led Initiatives for Sustainable Education) is an unscheduled credit based course offered at Queen Elizabeth School.  It uses CTS modules which pertain to natural resources. These modules guide project-based learning around real world issues involving sustainable development.  The purpose is to help students develop pro-environmental attitudes, knowledge and skills that become transferable to life beyond school. SLISE is a model of 21st century learning which extends learning beyond the four walls of the classroom by connecting students to others through video conferencing, field trips, presentations, conferences and clinics.  SLISE provides research and experimental opportunities to students, who are interested in the emerging renewable energy technologies, through access to the school’s five solar panels.

These modules can be made available to all interested teachers and students in the district, if you are looking to implement this program in your school please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for more information or contact Aaron Dublenko, SLISE Coordinator, directly at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Solar Photovoltaic School Projects

Solar panels have been designed and implemented in 4 Edmonton Public Schools; Queen Elizabeth, Riverdale, Hillview and Kate Chegwin.

These projects give students access to learning about new technology, as well as teaching them how to observe the output of energy in their school and how to subsequently minimize their resource consumption and dependency.

Updates on the progress of solar projects will be made available on the EnviroMatters website.  Stay Tuned!


Sustainable Food Services

The Centre for Education cafeteria employs numerous aspects of environmentally conscious dining services, including a reusable container discount programs, compostable paper plates, sustainably manufactured cutlery made from sugarcane, hot tables to reduce packaged foods and packaging waste, in-house baking to reduce emissions from food delivery trucks and a variety of vegan, vegetarian and eat-smart lunch options. Centre for Education departments requiring catered meetings, sessions or workshops are required to purchase from the in-house cafeteria, to promote local and more sustainable food purchasing practices. The Centre also has a recyclable beverage container collection program with bins located throughout the building; all the funds raised through the program go to the Edmonton Public School Foundation to support full-day kindergarten classes.

All district administration cafeterias, school cafeterias and food design classrooms take part in the district wide co-mingled organic waste recycling program through the City of Edmonton Waste Management Services partnership, in an effort to reduce the amount of organic waste being sent to the landfill. Both pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste is included in this program.


The Bennett Centre Environmental Education

The Bennett Centre is based out of the historic Bennett School, located in the Cloverdale community.  The close proximity to nature allows learning of environmental topics through a variety of instructional methods, field, studies, skill acquisitions and outdoor experiences.

Numerous day and overnight programs in addition to travelling and secondary programs are available to local schools.  For more information and details on field trip programs, please follow this link: http://bennettcentre.epsb.ca/


Waste Audit and Worksheet

The EnviroMatters Waste Audit and Worksheet is a structured resource to help your school quantify the amount and types of waste being generated. The information collected can be used to identify current waste practices and how they can be improved to enhance recycling efforts of targeted materials.  By designing and committing to a more efficient recycling system, your school can reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill and help conserve natural resources.

This activity engages students to learn about the recycling process happening in their school and encourages student leadership to improve best practices.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in the EnviroMatters Office for your Waste Audit Worksheet and instructions!


Waste Reduction Week Canada

The Edmonton Public School district supports Waste Reduction Week and there are a number of actions that schools can take to reduce the amount of waste generated in their school including: Waste free (Litter less) lunches, paper reduction strategies, recycling of plastics and light metals and commercial composting of organics. For more information on these and other items or to proclaim Waste Reduction Week for your school, please check the Waste Reduction Week website.

Grade 4 classes may want to get involved in the Triple StaRs Waste Reduction Challenge that provides curricular links to the Waste and Our World studies. For more information and resources, check out the Recycling Council of Alberta, Triple StaRs Waste Reduction Challenge at www.recycle.ab.ca/wrw.

If your school is planning a waste reduction project or plan anytime this school year, please let us know and we will share your waste reduction/recycling stories, photos and videos in Go Public blog posts, tweets, and StaffRoom, as well as the EnviroMatters website. Share the great things happening at your school!

For more information on activities for Waste Reduction Week, contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and help make every week, Waste Reduction Week!


Waste Reduction Work Plan & Recycle Challenge

Meeting one-on-one with schools allows the EnviroMatters Office to help develop a specific Waste Reduction Work Plan based on individual school needs.  This also creates an opportunity to offer resources and training tools to principals, teachers and custodial staff, which will help to create a higher level of engagement with district environmental initiatives.

The associated Recycle Challenge is a tool to help your school identify ways to reduce waste, enhance recycling efforts and determine any potential for cost savings.  By designing a more efficient recycling system and becoming more invested in sustainable programs, your school can reduce its environmental footprint and help conserve natural resources.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  in the EnviroMatters Office to develop a Waste Reduction Work Plan and Recycle Challenge catered specifically to the needs of your school!


Waterless Urinals

A common water conservation opportunity is associated with male washroom urinals. Historically urinals could be the highest consumer of water in a school facility. It is estimated at 17.5% of the total water consumption at Edmonton Public School facilities. A review of current urinal systems was done to determine the efficiency of each system and what benefits could be gained from each.

Please click on the link to read more: Waterless Urinal Study.


Year End Locker Clean-Out Program

At the end of each school year, Edmonton Public School students clean out their lockers in preparation for summer break.  Thanks to a new partnership, district schools can opt to collect, sort and reuse the materials cleaned out of lockers, instead of tossing them in the garbage.  The Facilities Services EnviroMatters Office has partnered with the City of Edmonton to offer a Year End Locker Clean-Out Program to district schools looking to minimize the amount of waste they send to the landfill at the end of each year.

The EnviroMatters Office has developed a comprehensive Year End Locker Clean-Out guide, complete with checklists, resources and contacts to help students and staff effectively launch this program in their school!  Collected items such as paper, books, school supplies and clothes can be reused and distributed within the school or donated to surrounding schools and local charities. This program offers a unique opportunity for students and staff to get involved in community service, learn about environmental project planning and participate in tangible waste reduction initiatives.

Contact Maegan Lukian in the EnviroMatters Office at 780-429-8513 for your resource package and complete guide, containing further details on how to plan your school’s Year End Locker Clean-Out!