ASU helps local schools divert waste, promote sustainability education

Downtown Phoenix

Inspired by the goal of a 40 percent diversion rate put forth by the Reimagine Phoenix initiative, Paradise Valley Unified School District (PV Schools) is finding new uses for trash. As one of the largest districts in Arizona, generating nearly 1,500 tons of waste per year, PV Schools has partnered with the Mayo Clinic of Arizona, the City of Phoenix and the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network (RISN) – a program operated by Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability’s Sustainability Solutions Services (S3) – to achieve this aim.

Not only are teams of experts from ASU and Mayo Clinic helping the school district to prevent, minimize, reuse and recycle waste, the partnership presents an opportunity to incorporate sustainability into students' studies. Sustainability students from Paradise Valley schools have already completed an assessment of the district’s current waste strategies, pinpointing opportunities for improvement and for educating their peers. Beginning in the fall, teachers will design a waste diversion curriculum in consultation with the expert teams, and at least one elementary, junior high and high school will conduct a waste diversion project.