Kansas State Agencies Form Green Teams
TOPEKA, Kansas, March 4, 2008 (ENS) - In response to an executive directive issued by Governor Kathleen Sebelius early in 2007, all 101 Kansas state agencies and their satellite offices are now recycling.

They have formed Green Teams as the governor directed, although many of them are just getting started as recyclers. Others have been recycling for years.

In all, there are 138 registered locations, and each now has a registered profile page on the Kansas Green Team website.

The governor directed all state offices to implement recycling programs by December 2007.

"Kansas is leading the way in protecting our natural resources and being good stewards of our environment," said Governor Sebelius. "I'm proud of our Kansas Green Teams who have turned a simple idea into an extraordinary accomplishment."

"Concern for the environment is at a all time high. Here is your chance to make a difference. This website will provide you with the tools you need to get started," announces the new Kansas State Green Teams 2008 website.

Green Teams implement waste reduction, recycling and green purchasing in their places of work, school or community with guidelines, ideas, and information from the state Green Teams program.

Some state offices are just getting started, but some, such as the Department of Revenue, have had recycling programs in place for years. The department continues to recycle large amounts of shredded documents daily.

Prison made clothing gets recycled into quilts at Hutchinson Correctional Facility. (Photo courtesy Kansas Green Teams)

The Department of Administration has provided large recycling bins on every floor located next to the freight elevator. Enhancements made recently by Kansas Department of Health and Environment and green team efforts provided more options for recycling by placement of bins for aluminum cans, plastic bottles, magazines and catalogs.

The Hutchinson Correction Facility is recycling clothing - making discarded denim and linens into quilts that are donated to the Salvation Army. The shirts, pants and blanket-lined jean jackets worn by inmates are already made within the state's prisons. Now, when the clothes wear out, they'll get a second life, said Hutchinson Warden Sam Cline.

At the Kansas Wildlife & Parks' Great Plains Nature Center, all employees have white paper recycling containers in their offices. The breakroom has bins for bottles and aluminum cans, and there are bins for newspapers, phone books and magazines, styrofoam, printer cartridges, and cell phones. Outside is the cardboard dumpster and three white paper dumpsters set aside for recycling.

Some state offices are taking their Green Teams a step further and implementing other green practices besides recycling. For example, the Landon State Office Building now uses only green cleaning products. Other agencies say they will purchase more products that contain recycled content.

The next step for state agencies will be to begin formally tracking the results of recycling and waste reduction efforts. An electronic form will be available on the Kansas Green Team website by early spring for reporting yearly recycling amounts. For now, state offices are being encouraged to track estimates for materials being recycled.

Visit the Kansas Green Teams at: http://www.kansasgreenteams.org/

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