Houston Independent School District received $300,000 in funding from business leaders to expand access to recycling within the district.
Exxon Mobil, Lyondell Basell and Tricon each presented the checks at Lantrip Elementary School this month to solidify its partnership for the pilot Zero-Waste Project.
The program will utilize a reduce, reuse and recycle sustainability plan focusing on material recycling, composting and waste management comprising 20 campuses from administration buildings to high schools in the district.
HISD will implement the program starting in April. The recycling project will be placed on campuses to make it easier for students and staff to understand the difference in each material that is being collected.
“As a company we are committed to sustainability especially with regard to better use of plastic waste instead of going to a landfill or being incinerated. We want to start here in Houston where we have large facilities in Baytown where we can recycle plastics,” said Loic Vivier, senior vice president Exxon Mobile specialty products. “The key is to address two significant hurdles. One is access, to have the infrastructure and logistics and the second is to educate our community of the necessity and how this benefits the environment and community overall.”
A team of Rice University undergraduate students will also be helping HISD in sustainability research and policy for its new program. The first phase of the research will focus on engaging with literature, case studies and informational interviews to gauge how HISD can move toward zero waste.
The second phase will allow a continuation of consultants’ findings on curriculum, logistics and operations, and economic value and sustainability.
“We want to provide equitable opportunities for our students,” said HISD Energy and Sustainability Quality Assurance Analyst Stephanie Walker. “We want these children to learn the importance of recycling, how to do it, and to take that knowledge home and apply it outside of the school campuses, because this is something our entire city will benefit from in the long run.”