Initiatives in Action



Vending Machines

Fall of 2013 saw some changes to the Kennedy High School vending machines. Associate Principal Jim Muench met with Brokaw Vending and determined how many of each item was selling in each machine. The information he received was astounding, many items were rarely being selected. He worked with the vending company to eliminate those items and in doing so reduced the number of vending machines by 4. Each vending machine uses $357 in electricity each year resulting in a savings of $1428/year. Energy Misers were added to two of the remaining ten machines, which reduces energy consumption by $152/year per machine, for a total combined savings of $1732.

Food Waste Audit

On December 13th, Kennedy high school conducted a food waste audit with the help of the Solid Waste Agency and Green Iowa AmeriCorps. The goal was to separate out all waste, recyclables and compostable material. The results were: 22 lbs. of recyclables, 153 lbs. of food waste/compost, and 88 lbs. of trash. They look to do this again in the near future to cut down on items unnecessarily going to the landfill.



Implementing a new recycling program at Viola Gibson has raised money, reduced waste and encouraged the students to think “green”. The program was started in 2013 after a teacher saw the recycling program on’s website. There are a number of lunch items that can be collected and recycled for money. Gibson started out with snack sacks and juice pouches and this year expanded to cheese wrappers and lunchable packaging. As of last year they had raised $74, but a new batch of recyclables was just sent in, which will increase their total dollars. A complete list of materials available for recycling dollars can be found on the Terracycle website. If you would like more information from Viola Gibson about their program, please email Lisa Welch at