Sustainability Efforts

DLS Sustainability Program (Green Team)

Frequently Asked Questions


What kinds of sustainability programs do we have at DLS?


At DLS East, we have recycling, compost, a community garden, and the Red Apple Recycling Program’s little red schoolhouse.   

  • We recycle

  • in the classrooms, school hallways, and the lunchroom.

  • We compost in the

  • cafeteria.

  • Our school community garden has several beds dedicated to students and school curricula. The garden also has an established garden to table program with our school cafeteria.

  • We have the Red Apple Recycling’s little red schoolhouse on our campus year round, with clothing/shoe drives twice a year.



Why are the sustainability programs only at DLS East?


Unlike DLS West, DLS East leases the building from DPS. DPS contracts with the city of Denver to provide recycling and compost services to all of their facilities. The recycling program is free and the compost program has a small monthly fee.


Since the West campus is on private property, any sustainable efforts would need to be contracted between the property owner and the city of Denver. At this time, the cost and manpower needed to create and sustain a program at DLS West is prohibitive.



What do my kids learn from the sustainability programs at DLS East?


  • Recycling:  Students learn how to sort recyclable items from general waste. They learn to take responsibility for their recycling in the classroom and the cafeteria. They see firsthand how

  • much can be diverted from landfill and how they can make a difference.

  • Compost:  Students learn that composting food waste is good for our soil and reduces what goes into the landfill. They learn to sort what products, beyond food scra

  • ps, can go into the compost, such as napkins, paper towels, and wax paper.

  • Community Garden:  Students learn to plant and grow their own vegetables and then enjoy their bounties. They learn the importance of local growing and shopping.




Why are parents always asked to volunteer for the green team?


Parents, students, and staff carry out the majority of the sustainability effort at DLS, as it does not fall within the responsibilities of DLS facilities management. A few of the duties include:

  • At least once a week, up to 20 filled recycling carts are rolled to the outside staging area, and then clean ones are rolled back in.

  • Every day after lunch, used compost and recycling carts are rolled outside to the staging area and clean ones are rolled back in for the next day’s use.

  • Compost and recycling carts are cleaned 3-4 times per year.

  • Teaching recycling procedures and guidelines to students and staff in the lunchroom and classroom and then supporting them throughout the year.

  • Ensuring adequate supplies for recycling and compost, such as disposable gloves for students and staff in the cafeteria and liners for the compost carts.

  • Collaborating with DLS administration to support staff involvement in day-to-day activities.



How can I be involved?


  • You can sign up to help with the periodic cleaning of compost and recycling carts.

  • You can sign up to help in the cafeteria. Volunteers are needed for all lunch periods for the first two weeks of school to ensure that students and staff get off to a good start for the school year. Volunteers are needed 1-2 times per month throughout the year to check in and monitor the waste line.  



Please email greenteam@dlspta.org for more information or to get involved



Last update 15 August 2017