Sims Youth Pave the Road to Zero Waste

AUSTIN—Keep Austin Beautiful, in partnership with Austin Resource Recovery and the Bleed Orange Live Green initiative, awarded Austin ISD’s Mary Jane Sims Elementary as the 2014 Zero-Waste Champions.

The award recognizes a local Austin school each year for outstanding efforts to reduce waste and raise awareness on campus about the City of Austin's Zero Waste goal, which aims to decrease the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90 percent by the year 2040.

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, Austin Resource Recovery and Keep Austin Beautiful will present students and staff at Sims with a $1,000 award, a bench made of upcycled plastic and a Generation Zero banner.

Thanks to the Bleed Orange Live Green partnership, the school will also receive 22 tickets for students and their chaperones to attend the UT vs. Iowa State football game on Saturday, Oct. 18 where they will enjoy pre-game festivities and be recognized on the field during the game.

During the 2013-14 school year, the entire fourth grade at Sims Elementary School participated in the Generation Zero program to learn about recycling and composting through hands-on activities. Generation Zero provides K-12 students with the opportunity to engage in fun, hands-on activities and simple solutions for reducing waste through an array of lessons coupled with service projects that raise awareness about recycling, composting and conservation.

Students at Sims used their knowledge of recycling to write letters to local recycling facilities inquiring about their methods. The Sims Superstars are participating in the program again to learn about proper single stream recycling, what to do with “specials,” learn about composting and taking action to complete on-campus service projects.

Of the more than 54 schools that were involved in the program, Sims boasts the highest rate of recycling and composting—more than 20 pounds per student

For more information, please contact Monica Lopez Magee, Director of Development and Communications for Keep Austin Beautiful at (512) 391-0617, ext. 703 or email