Grand Award for Green Cleaning: Congrats to East Meadow Union Free School District

March 03, 2011

201012-East-Meadow-Union 
East Meadow Union Freee School District – Photo from American School & University magazine

Congratulations to East Meadow Union Free School District!

In the Green Cleaning Awards sponsored by Healthy Schools Campaign, the Green Cleaning Network and American School & University magazine, the East Meadow Union Free School District earned the K-12 Grand Award for an excellent green cleaning program.

The East Meadow Union Free School District, one of the largest school systems on Long Island, started its green cleaning program five years ago. In that time, the district has stepped into a leadership role, serving as a role model to other districts nationwide that are developing green cleaning programs.  The Director of Facilities and a Green Cleaning Committee have taken numerous steps to expand East Meadow’s green cleaning program and explore areas for improvement and growth. For example, the district replaced all ammonia-based cleaning products with green-certified products, discontinued the use of regular dust mops, replacing them with microfiber mops, and switched to hands-free soap dispensers.

East Meadow considers the safety and well-being of students and staff to be of the utmost priority.  The use of products and equipment that reduce or eliminate the need for expensive and potentially harmful cleaning chemicals has enabled the district to realize substantial savings while simultaneously reducing its impact on the environment.

Pat Pizzo, director of facilities of East Meadow Public Schools, emphasizes that green cleaning programs are not only safe and effective, but can save money.

“A comprehensive approach to green cleaning can achieve cost savings, while maintaining a safe and clean environment,” says Pizzo. “The efficient use of bio-based products, and equipment that reduces or eliminates the need for cleaning chemicals, has enabled our district to realize substantial savings while simultaneously reducing its impact on the environment and children’s health.”

Pizzo meets regularly with all head custodians in the district and the facilities department invites input from custodial staff, administrators, and support staff, as well as parents and students. 

While the district has made great strides in providing a safe and healthy environment for its students and teachers, Pizzo is not satisfied with the status quo.  Through the collaborative efforts of administration, custodial staff, vendors, teachers, students and parents, he hopes to continue exploring new options for simultaneously maintaining a healthy, clean environment for all, while minimizing the impact on the environment.

We congratulate East Meadow School District and Mr. Pizzo on this wonderful program!

Plus! To learn more about green cleaning, check out HSC's free resource, The Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools!