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Triad Gets Funding for Composting

by Randy Pierce

TROY — Triad High School of Troy is receiving funding support in the amount of $1,706 for a campus composting program following the unanimous approval of a resolution authorizing it by the Madison County Board at its most recent meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

This grant is utilizing revenue collected by the county from solid waste management fees so that 13 school districts, including Triad Community Unit #2, can meet state requirements concerning recycling, water conservation, air quality initiatives, improved health and wellness and energy efficiency.

Along with the $24,357 earmarked by the county for the school district grants, there are additional funds being set aside for various competitions and student programs related to the environment. 

These include classroom lessons, curriculum supplies and environmentally-related educational expenses plus contests, all for which $7,423 has been allotted, involving the design of bookmarks, America Recycles Day posters and rain barrels plus competition such as those categorized as “fantastic plastic collection, pumpkin purge, sneaker collection, iCompost, upcycle innovation and PhotoVoice.”

Another $1000 from the grand total of $42,400 for fiscal year 2024’s “Green Schools Program” funding is to be used for training meetings and scholarships for school coordinators to participate in the Environmental Education Association of Illinois annual conference. 

For the purpose of recognizing the green school coordinator and team of the year and providing celebration kits, the county is additionally designating $9620 in conjunction with this program.

Lisa Rogers, the “green schools” coordinator for Madison County, noted that the money utilized for these programs originates from the fees collected from waste hauling companies at the Milam landfill west of Collinsville and a landfill in Roxana. State regulations require, she said, that these fees be set aside for environmental programs and public engagement in related matters.

The grant applications from the schools, including those defined by the term “green seed,” are accepted and awarded by the county during the traditional August through May school year so that implementation of the projects this money supports can occur when students and staff are present at the applicable locations.

The resolution approved by the county board was brought forward jointly by its building and zoning committee and its grants committee. 

Madison County’s Green Schools Program was created in 1989 to fulfill state legislation mandating environmental education and outreach programs, supported by landfill fees, for students and residents.

Rogers said roughly 30,000 students participated in county green schools programming at various educational levels in 2023, a 20 per cent increase over the previous year. There are 55 schools in Madison County enrolled in this effort, a significantly greater number, 40 per cent more, than were part of it in 2022.

The curriculum provided for students in conjunction with national, state and individual district learning requirements is offered in the form of downloadable lesson plans. 


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