County Executive Tom Gordon announced Wednesday that more than 2,400 residents pledged to stop water pollution right in their own kitchens through New Castle County’s 2015 “Great Schools, Clean Streams” pledge drive in which local schools pursued creative ways to engage the public on this important public works campaign.
“Odyssey Charter won first place in the public and charter schools category in New Castle County’s “Great Schools Clean Streams” campaign with 448 pledges, and The Tatnall School took the top spot in the private schools category with 246 pledges,” County Executive Gordon said. “We also have second, third, and honorable mention prizes for eight other schools.
“I want to thank the students and schools for their creativity and passion in helping us spread the word about the detrimental effects of pouring cooking oil and grease down the drain,” he added. “They win for participating, and we all win for the tax dollars saved with this campaign.
“More homeowners will avoid the risk of clogged pipes, toilet backups, and plumber bills. With fewer sewer spills, local streams will get cleaner.”
The New Castle Department of Special Services, led by Environmental Compliance Officer Michael Harris and engineer Daniel Sullivan, sponsored the pledge drive between May 11 and May 22 to encourage residents to prevent water pollution by disposing of used cooking oil and grease properly. Water Words That Work provided effective, grassroots outreach to local schools.
"We want to thank all the parents, teachers, and school officials who helped make the campaign a success," Sullivan said. “Working together, we all raised a lot of awareness about how residents can stop water pollution right in their own kitchens."
All told, 2,457 residents took the pledge, with about 1,500 supporting local public and charter schools and nearly 650 supporting local, private schools. They all pledged to 87 schools to properly dispose of their used cooking oils, fats, and grease by putting these materials in the trash, instead of down the drain where it can lead to clogged and overflowing sewers.
The winning schools will receive gift certificates that they can use to pay for on-campus education projects and classroom materials.
TOP FIVE FINISHERS FOR BOTH CATEGORIES
Public/Charter School Category: 1st Place: Odyssey Charter, $1,300 2nd Place: Mount Pleasant Elementary, $800 3rd Place: North Star Elementary, $500 Honorable Mention 1: Linden Hill Elementary, $300 Honorable Mention 2: John Dickinson High, $200
Private School Category: 1st Place: Tatnall, $1,300 2nd Place: Sanford, $800 3rd Place: Caravel, $500 Honorable Mention 1: St. Edmond’s, $300 Honorable Mention 2: Ursuline, $200
In addition, the winning teams will be invited on to NCCTV’s Spotlight on New Castle County with Melody Kitchen to discuss their winning strategies. (NCCTV can be viewed on Comcast Channel 22, Verizon Channel 29 and via streaming at www.nccde.org.)
"If you took the pledge and keep your commitment, then you deserve a little credit for every smile on every child’s face you see playing in a local stream, lake, or river," Sullivan said.
Learn More at www.GreatSchoolsCleanStreams.org.