Mount Baker School District, WA Toxicity Reduction Practices
Any leftover VOC compliant paint is used to line the sports playing fields. The district painter purchases the least caustic paint supplies whenever possible. He has turned to latex based paints as a first choice.
Our mechanics have switched to a non-aerosol de-icer and purchased a cleaner burning power washer for bus washing.
Our district’s print shop manager has training in hazardous printing byproducts, and proper disposal methods. Our in-house print shop uses soy based inks and recycled paper whenever possible. Printing chemicals need only be neutralized with each other and then may be dumped into the sink for disposal in our lagoon system.
We have Mount Baker School Board policy dealing with pesticide management. It emphasizes pesticide limitations and contractor certification requirements. Our groundskeeper has state certification and holds a pesticide license from the department of Agriculture. This certification is renewed through an annual 8-hour training workshop.
The MBHS Science Department has taken several steps to reduce toxicity by utilizing micro scale chemistry. Many use half as many chemicals without lessening the student’s lab experience. We are looking into ways of measuring nitrates in water without producing cadmium waste. Last year we switched to a zinc based system.
The groundskeepers try to choose the least toxic pesticides available for use in the district. They rely on hand weeding and natural controls such as mulching. The grounds department found that using propane torches for weed control works best in some cases.