Congratulations and thank you to each of our district schools that participated in this year’s Green Genius Cafeteria Challenge!  As with every year, results for each of the participating schools were extremely close and competitive.

Schools with the Lowest Waste per Student

First Place

Elementary: Cherry Crest Elementary

  • 562 students
  • Reduced waste to just 2.7 grams per student.  This is the same weight as one single penny.
  • Strategies: Student presentations to all classes, posters, parent and teacher newsletters, cafeteria helpers.

Middle: Odle Middle School

  • 970 students
  • Reduced waste to 24 grams or the weight of a little more than 4 quarters.
  • Strategies: Daily weights and charting progress, daily announcements, competition between lunch 1 and lunch 2.

High: International School

  • 578 students
  • Reduced waste to 21 grams or the weight of less than 4 quarters.
  • Strategies: posters, signs on bins, student green club.

Second Place

Elementary: Spiritridge Elementary

  • 678 students
  • Reduced waste to 4.4 grams per student or the weight of less than 2 dimes.
  • Strategies: Announcements, newsletter articles, sorting activities, practice weigh days, promoted on website, fun costumes.

Third Place

Elementary: Puesta del Sol Elementary

  • 569 students
  • Reduced waste to 4.9 grams per student or the weight of a little more than 2 dimes.
  • Strategies: Formed Equipo Verde, made a banner, requested and received donated green aprons from Lowe’s in Renton for student green team members, advertised program on reader board, cafeteria helpers, recycling bin costumes.

Surprise Bonus Award: Busy Bear

Somerset Elementary
Every other year, Bellevue School District and City of Bellevue offer a surprise award to recognize schools for exceptional work.  Somerset was recognized for their continued enthusiasm, innovation and commitment to the cafeteria challenge.  Since 2012, their unique strategies have included a strong staff green team, student sorters, bulletin boards made from recycled milk cartons, working with local reuse business to offer reusable cloth bags to replace plastic sandwich bags, sample weighing throughout the year, assemblies, “green week” and sorting games.

If your school did not have the lowest wastes per student, or did not participate, you will have an opportunity for a rematch in April for schools that are not being recognized this round.  Schools will have a chance in the following categories: greatest improvement since November, most innovative program, best school community involvement/teamwork and lowest waste per student.

The following schools participated and did an amazing job! Each will receive a certificate in a unique frame made from recycled pencils.

  1. Bennett Elementary
  2. Cherry Crest Elementary
  3. Clyde Hill Elementary
  4. Eastgate Elementary
  5. Enatai Elementary
  6. Highland Middle School
  7. International School
  8. Jing Mei Elementary
  9. Medina Elementary
  10. Odle Middle School
  11. Phantom Lake Elementary
  12. Puesta del Sol Elementary
  13. Sherwood Forest Elementary
  14. Somerset Elementary
  15. Spiritridge Elementary
  16. Woodridge Elementary
The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.