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DC schools start single-sort recycling to reduce costs
Feb. 1, 2016

Drew West
Correspondent

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – In a move designed to save some green, the Dassel-Cokato School District is going green. Well, greener, that is.

The school board heard during the Jan. 25 meeting that Business Manager Tina Palmer and Superintendent Jeff Powers met with representatives from Waste Management recently in an effort to reduce expenses related to frequent waste pickup.

Together, they discovered that a portion of the waste commonly found in district dumpsters actually belongs in recycling bins.

In response, the district recently ordered 75 blue, single-sort recycling bins, complete with laminated signs that show which items can and cannot be recycled together.

The goal is to reduce the frequency of garbage pickup by increasing the number of items that can be recycled, thereby lowering the district’s waste removal expenses.

Moving to a single-sort system will make this process a bit easier, and also encourage the inclusion of items that were not previously recycled within the district, such as milk cartons at the middle and elementary schools.

“This is the first time we’re actively promoting a single-sort bin,” Powers said.

“We hope it goes over well.”

MAWSECO open house

The old middle school building in Howard Lake has a new look, and the members of the Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperative are its new residents.

More than 80 people attended MAWSECO’s open house gathering Jan. 21, an event that also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the cooperative.

Attendees toured the facility, learned about the Trek, Step, and Journeys programs, and mingled with employees.

MAWSECO’s mission is to provide quality special education leadership, services, and support to the staff, students, and families of the seven school districts that make up the agency, and this new facility will be a great asset.

The cooperative’s offices were previously located in Cokato, but the setup was not ideal and the site lacked scheduled programming.

The new building includes expanded office space for the teachers and staff, on-site programs for the students, in-house laundry, cooking facilities, and more.

“There aren’t many buildings in Minnesota that are built for the intense needs of some of our kids,” Powers noted.

With the remodeling project behind them, MAWSECO can better serve the local communities as a leader in special education.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• presented the Russell A. Johnson Courtesy and Respect Award to Elizabeth Kutz, daughter of Rachel Kutz of Howard Lake. The honor is given to a student who demonstrates excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, decision making, and conduct.

• approved Powers’ request for an additional custodian position at DCHS. The 211-day contract is intended to provide coverage for four hours each morning, allowing Buildings and Grounds Supervisor John Martinson to carry out his duties more effectively.

• heard that online registration for the 2016-2017 Dassel-Cokato High School school year is now open. Students can utilize the online tools to craft a course plan for their entire high school career, although classes can only be reserved for the upcoming year.

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