The LaPorte Community School Corporation began a green cleaning program in 2009 with summer custodial cleaning. Although the program is in its infancy, custodians have provided positive feedback on the cleaning supplies and microfiber products. This is the first step in a long-term comprehensive green cleaning program. The district will continue to invest in Green Seal- or CRI-certified cleaning equipment (auto-scrubbers, vacuums, burnishers, etc).

The district has partnered with the cleaning contractor to develop a long-term cleaning strategy. Together, they initiated a program called CCAP (Custodial Cleaning Assessment Program), a software program designed to identify specific cleaning levels and areas to be cleaned. The program accounts for product fixtures (dispensers); identifies floor types and square footages; evaluates the staff level and determines level of appropriateness; creates balanced workloads; and establishes standardized processes. The program assists with equipment needs, evaluates new cleaning procedures, and identifies the exact amount of products it should take to clean the facilities and the labor required.

The district has established a strategy that has heightened the level of cleanliness by standardizing restroom and classroom cleaning. "High-touch" surfaces such as light switches, door knobs, telephones, computers, desks and chairs are cleaned regularly. The district also established a disinfecting procedure with school buses. The district encourages students, staff and the public to wash hands on a regular basis.

The district introduced innovative equipment that cleans with 70 percent less water and uses no chemicals. Also, the district has invested in new carpet extractors, which have a "ready space" feature that enables carpet to dry in 30 minutes or less. This will improve indoor air quality and extend carpet life, and uses less water than typical extraction methods.

A building cleanliness checklist evaluation form is used by administrators, building principals, directors and head custodians. The checklist provides a cleanliness guideline and an assessment of each facility's cleaning program.

The evaluation forms are submitted to the director of facilities and reviewed every month. The director of facilities also works closely with the building principals to monitor absenteeism.

Learn about other Green Cleaning Award winners.

Program Information

Number of students: 6,300

Square footage maintained: 1,258,000

Number of full-time custodians: 51

Annual cleaning budget: $250,000

Green cleaning team members: Marc Cizewski, Director of Facilities; KSS Enterprises, TEPE Supply, Cleaning Contractors

Story of Innovation

COLOR CODING: The district has introduced a microfiber cleaning system using a color-coded procedure, which prevents cross contamination; ensures employee safety; provides a healthful environment; reduces water consumption; reduces chemical usage; increases productivity; is lightweight; has less potential for injury; and is easy to use.

Learn about other Green Cleaning Award winners.