Helping schools reduce pollution
Our goal is to be a coordinated and comprehensive source of information to all members of the school community by providing a variety of information, services and assistance about environmental issues and opportunities in order to help schools improve their environmental health and performance.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is not all-inclusive, but the MPCA will list all relevant internal and external resources and keep them current to best of its ability. Please contact us if you have something to link or post that may be of interest to this audience, or notify us if something should be updated or removed.
RFP for Costs and Benefits Analysis of School Waste Management Programs
- Costs and Benefits Analysis of School Waste Management Programs
Frequently asked questions about the Costs and Benefits Analysis of School Waste Management Programs
Question 1: Under task 1, will the contractor be required to write survey questions or will the State write the questions?
Answer 1: The selected contractor will be expected to write the survey questions with assistance and final approval from MPCA staff. Working closely with MPCA staff on this may include face-to-face meetings as well as email and telephone correspondence.
Question 3: Under task 2, 3 and 4, will contractor be given full real-time access to survey responses so that necessary facilitation of survey completion and analysis of results can be a seamless and efficient as possible?
Answer: Yes, the MPCA can provide the contractor real time access to the SNAP account so they can see the responses. If the intent of access to the responses is to manipulate the data (say, in an excel database), access could be provided daily.
Question 4: How many schools are to be surveyed?
Answer: The focus of this RFP is on K – 12 public schools only. The MPCA will provide a list of school districts. The MPCA conducted a short questionnaire that was sent to all Minnesota public school districts in October 2012. That information will be provided to the selected contractor, when it is available. The selected contractor and MPCA may need to work together to compile a list of individual schools to target for the survey. Individual schools and school districts will need to be contacted in some cases. There are no specific response targets for any given area of the state, school district, type of school, etc. The proposer should suggest a number that would be appropriate to achieve the desired information.
Question 5: What does the MPCA consider to be statistically significant as far as getting data responses?
Answer: MPCA requests an analysis of metropolitan and greater MN schools separately and together. The MPCA is interested in comparing data from similar schools based on the age of the students (comparing middle school data) vs. elementary school data. The gathered information should also indicate which county the school districts are located in. For purposes of this RFP, the metropolitan area includes: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. Regarding follow up phone surveys, the school could enter the information with or without assistance from the contractor, or it can be added to the spreadsheet of information later.
The MPCA is aware that statistical significance may be difficult to obtain for all survey questions and correlations that the MPCA is suggesting in this study. Proposers may wish to suggest how the project could gather enough information so that the study results will be useful to schools wishing to improve their solid waste management programs.
Question 6: Is the MPCA paying for and setting up the survey on the MPCA website?
Answer: The MPCA has a SNAP survey account and is prepared to set up the survey. The MPCA anticipates working with the selected contractors to develop questions in a Word document that the MPCA can then enter into the SNAP software.
Question 7:Regarding the content of the report/seminars, costs and timelines: Do you want to have a graph for every question, perhaps in the appendix, or just general conclusions and you will work with the data to mine further information over time? Does the MPCA expect weekly email or phone call updates? Is the development of the report into a presentation to be included as a task in the scope of services? Will MPCA pay for attendance at these seminars? Can the participation in seminars occur after June 28th?
Answer: The MPCA has the ability to determine environmental benefits from solid waste management methods, and would expect to work with the selected contractor to provide a discussion of those in the final report and presentation(s). The MPCA anticipates the final report would include general conclusions and graphs where appropriate. A regular schedule and method of communication between the MPCA and the selected contractor will be established based on the selected proposal.
Although the MPCA had originally envisioned the contract ending June 28, 2013, our anticipated ending date will be adjusted based on the proposed timelines. The proposer should put forth a project work plan, budget, and their own projected timeline to accomplish the project. The proposer is encouraged to propose additional tasks or activities if they will substantially improve the results of the project. The MPCA also anticipates negotiation of the final work plan, budget, and timeline with the selected contractor.
Public schools waste composition analysis
- Digging Deep Through School Trash - a waste composition analysis of trash, recycling and organic material discarded in public schools in Minnesota
Topics and issues
Facility Operations and Purchasing
- Building and Operations
- Energy - MnTAP Steam traps
- Environmental Assessments
- Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
- Healthy Sustainable Schools Guide
- High Performance Schools for Higher Performing Students - A Pre-Design Guide on School Design, Construction and Operation for School Board Members
Health and Wellness
- Mercury (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
- Mercury-Catalyzed Flooring
- Indoor Air Quality (Minnesota Dept. of Health)
- Integrated Pest Management (Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture)
- Nutrition Resources (Minnesota Dept. of Health)
- Healthy Schools Campaign
- Resources for Chemical Management University of Minnesota - Chemical Safety Day Program
- Project Green Fleet
- School Bus Retrofits and Idle Reduction - reduced diesel emissions Minn. Stat. § 123B.885
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Paper reduction kit
- Food Waste Reduction Guide
- Resource Management Programs use waste-hauling contracts to foster waste reduction and recycling.
- School Waste Reduction Audit - Useful tools, especially for getting started on Resource Management contracting.
- County Solid Waste Officers
- The Recycling Guide for Minnesota Schools - Free recycling guide for schools
Statutes and Compliance
- Environmental Compliance Training - See Joshua Burman, 507-344-5243
- Hazardous Waste Compliance Guide - A summary of “10 Steps to Compliance”
- For details on 10 steps to compliance and other resources about specific hazardous wastes, see the Hazardous Waste Publications page.
- SEEK - Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge
- Learning Resource Center
- Household Hazardous Waste - Learning Trunk
- Rethink Recycling
Need bins to get going on recycling? One of the greatest challenges to starting a school recycling program is obtaining bins for the classroom. The MPCA suggests doing the following to locate the most affordable collection containers. For further information, you can go to the Recycling Association of Minnesota's website.
Seven Options for the Acquisition of Giant Recycling Bottle Bins
- Direct Purchase: RAM is the vendor through which you can purchase one of those giant pop bottle bins that are everywhere lately, RAM does ask that you make a minimum order of 10 bottles, due to shipping costs. Each bin comes with two different types of signage to choose from. Bin cost for members RAM members is $90 per bottle and $110 per bottle for non-members; Call RAM to join or place your order at 651-641-4560. As always you can also visit the collaborative MPCA & RAM website address at www.recyclemoreminnesota.org/how for more information regarding the bin purchase program
- Another approach is to simply contact your local county solid waste office to see if they have a recycling bin program or know of a recycling bin program you can participate in.
- If your budget is limited or you don’t need 10 recycling bins there is always the option of finding like minded partners to do a group purchase in order to meet the minimum order requirement.
- Meet with your recycling hauler to see if they will provide bins or grants to obtain them or as a negotiated contract stipulation. (Often the recycling hauler will provide large containers for bulk storage and collection from the loading dock as part of the overall contract agreement.)
- Talk to your bottling and soft drink beverage vendor to see if they will provide collection bins or boxes as part of the contract to sell their products in your facilities.
- Grants for recycling bins are typically offered twice a year in the spring and fall. For more information about the grant program, visit the program Web site or call 843-278-7686.
- Become a member of the state’s Cooperative Purchasing Venture where you can purchase containers at a bulk rate and save money.
- Throwing something away wastes valuable resources - that’s the main idea behind resource management (RM) programs. RM programs focus schools on preventing waste and maximizing recycling by looking at the dumpster and all the way back to what is purchased and how it is used. RM also maximizes the cost efficiency of a district’s overall waste management, where less waste is a valued outcome. Eagan-Apple Valley-Rosemount School District and their RM contractor found that elementary classroom recycling rates skyrocketed when they tested a new way of collecting recyclables and trash -- making the recycling bin the primary and most obvious bin. Recycling increased from 11% to 53% and yielded enough cost savings to undertake organics composting. Minneapolis Public Schools signed a RM contract in 2009 which includes assessing the district’s baseline of waste/recycling generation, auditing of every schools’ wastes, and periodic reporting of actual weights of outgoing materials. Weight-based data and billing transparency are key components that will allow the district to better manage their resources. They expect dramatically increased services and less waste generation per dollar spent. To learn more, contact Madalyn Cioci at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-6300. (7/09)