Two local school districts have received updated water fountains, thanks to an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant program.
The program is designed to cut back on plastics in school, by funding new fountains, either installed or retrofitted, that have bottle filling stations built in.
In the most recent cycle of the Recycle Ohio grants, 94 schools, school districts, and diocese in 70 communities were eligible to install or retrofit water fountains with water bottle filling stations in 206 school buildings.
Valley and SCCTC took advantage of the program.
Valley Schools applied and was awarded enough to provide new stations in each of its three schools and Superintendent Scott Roth said that it was just one example of the school making improvements, thanks to the post-Covid mindset.
In this particular situation, this grant became available during a time in which we were closing water fountains, due to Covid. We had already purchased some bottle fillers, but this was a chance to complete our whole district with bottle filling stations.”
Roth explained the school has gone back to traditional fountains, but they’re not equipped with bottle filling stations.
“If anything came out of the pandemic, it was ways for us to look everywhere we could to find ways to purchase things that make our building safer,” Roth said.
According to the Superintendent, not only did they see a reduction in Covid spread, but also other ailments, such as the flu and common cold.
The grants will help cover the costs of equipment and benefit the state by reducing plastic bottle waste by encouraging students and school staff to carry reusable water bottles.
Oho EPA’s Recycling and Litter Prevention grant program made $500,000 available to public and private K-12 schools statewide to promote the “Three Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The grants help reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles and keep more plastic waste out of landfills. The communities are receiving grants up to $5,000 per school and $10,000 per school district or diocese.
Ohio EPA will offer the grants again in 2023. The next grant cycle begins on Nov. 7, 2022, with the application deadline on Feb. 3, 2023.
To learn more about the grants, register online for the Nov. 8, 2023, grant kickoff meeting. The meeting begins at 10 a.m.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved