GENEVA – When Geneva School District 304 janitorial staff use up an old cleaner at schools and offices, they are replaced with green cleaners that are not toxic to the environment or to people, a district spokeswoman said.
The school board this week approved a new policy stating each school in the district will use "only environmentally-sensitive cleaning and maintenance products, to the extent established by and in accordance with the guidelines of the Illinois Green Government Coordinating Council, for all in-house and contracted cleaning services."
"We have been practicing green cleaning since the law was enacted in 2009," district spokeswoman Kelley Munch said. "We're using up the remaining cleaning supplies [and moving to] products that are non-hazardous to the environment and to people and non-corrosive."
The policy was just enacted because the district did not have a policy addressing it, she said.
The Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council helps state agencies, local governments and schools improve the sustainability of their operations and policies, according to its website, www2.illinois.gov.
Gov. Pat Quinn chairs the council, comprised of 14 state agencies. On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Quinn signed an executive order to reduce the environmental impact of state government operations.
The executive order directs state agencies to lead by example in reducing waste; promoting energy efficiency and conservation; and protecting water quality and conservation.
"By implementing these sustainability practices, agencies will not only benefit [from] the quality of our air, land and water, they will also save Illinois taxpayers’ money by reducing utility bills, waste disposal fees and other operating costs," according to the website.