School IPM & Recycling Policies at 2nd Largest School District In USA Receive National Honor

November 03, 2004 — By California Safe School

This month's GREEN FLAG SCHOOL: Aldama Elementary -Los Angeles, California

Students and staff at Aldama Elementary know that Integrated Pest Management and good Reduce, Reuse, Recycle practices go hand in hand. The Los Angeles Unified School System passed IPM and RRR Policies for their schools, but it is up to the school community to develop and enact a plan to make the policies work. In coordination with California Safe Schools, a CA based national non-profit organization, Aldama has created and implemented several successful strategies to support their environmental policies.

To enhance their Reduce, Reuse, Recycle policy and practices, teachers and teacher aides reward "good money" to students observed picking up trash around campus. Students also receive good money from the plant manager for helping sort and clean up trash during lunch. The "money" is dropped into a box in the office throughout the month. At monthly assemblies, a raffle is drawn from the box, and students are awarded prizes.

Students know that having less trash on campus means having less pests! They also know that it's easier to keep pests away than it is to get rid of them once they arrive. Through the "Good Money" program, students and staff both keep the waste stream clear of recyclables, and proactively engage in the integrated pest management program. Special thanks to the hard work and support of Aldama Principal Martha Powell, Vanessa Cross, and the Aldama Facilities Team!

Education of the school community regarding IPM and RRR are essential in the implementation of new policies. The creative artwork of artist Michael Bruza, supported by California Safe Schools, provides schools with fun and professional posters depicting basic principles of IPM and RRR. Aldama also now has IPM messages on their milk cartons to continue to educate and engage students. These public awareness tools and Aldama's proactive work will ensure IPM and RRR success for years to come. Visit to view a picture of some of the Aldama Green Flag participants!

LA Unified Integrated Pest Management Policy and the LA Unified Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Policy visit:

To view samples of the milk carton designs and Michael Bruza's educational posters, see the California Safe Schools website.