Glencoe Elementary, Portland

Green ?

Merit ?

Premier 2008

Current certification 10/16/2012 – 10/16/2015



Glencoe Elementary, first certified as a Green School in 1999, is one of Portland Public Schools most active Green
Schools and has been at the Premier level since 2002.


  • Glencoe has a recycling team of 110 children, about ¼ of their school population, who rotate weekly to collect the recycling from the school. The students record what they collect, estimate the weight, and calculate the number of trees saved (based on one tree producing 118 lbs of paper). The number of trees saved is added to their recycling forest in the cafeteria which charts their progress.
  • Articles are submitted to Glencoe’s weekly flier to let parents know about the recycling programs going on and how they can participate.
  • Glencoe collects recyclable materials in the classrooms, cafeteria, and staff room including paper, cans and bottles, glass jars and bottles, aluminum food cans, batteries, printer cartridges, SCRIP cards, cell phones, QFC plastic bags, and tennis shoes (for the Nike Grind program). The school also collects recyclables from events that take place there, like the Harvest Festival, Friday Popcorn Day, and Run for the Arts.
  • Glencoe uses reusable trays and silverware in their cafeteria and has started a program of “Take what you want, Eat what you take” to attempt to cut down on food waste from the salad bar.
  • Glencoe participated in the Electricity Incentive program and were able to reduce their electricity consumption by 4.4% over the previous year.
  • At the end of the year, Glencoe has a Great Locker Cleanout during which reusables and recyclables are collected and diverted from the waste stream. Many items are reused in the school, and any leftovers are given to Schoolhouse Supplies, SCRAP or Head Start programs in the area.


  • Glencoe worked with Richmond Elementary to help implement their reusable tray program.
  • Glencoe was one of the Oregon Green School Summit’s showcase presentations where students shared information and ideas about their program with other schools across the state.
  • Glencoe’s Coordinator, Emma Pletz, regularly attends district Sustainability Coordinator meetings where she is able to share her tips and best practices with other schools in the district.
  • Glencoe’s community outreach includes helping to recycle SCRIP cards, collecting shoes for the Nike Grind program, collecting used books for their Fall Harvest book sale, collecting clothes for the local PTA Clothes Closet, and decorating paper bags for Earth Day to bring awareness to QFC customers.
  • Glencoe gives tours to visitors and college students to teach about their rain gardens.



  • Glencoe has been able to reduce its waste down to only one 5 cubic yard dumpster pickup a week, one of the lowest amounts in the district.
  • Glencoe continues to capture recyclable items and its recycling capacity has grown.
  • Glencoe has reduced electricity use by an average of 4.4% and plans to continue to reduce energy use in their building
  • Glencoe’s water use is down by 14.24 gallons and natural gas use is down by 46.17 therms per month since 2008.
  • Glencoe is fully involved in their Green School efforts and has active participation from the students, staff, parents, and principal. Emma Pletz continues to be a leader in PPS conservation and actively volunteers her time and energy to do so.
  • Glencoe has built a strong ethic around sustainability and is proud to be a Premier Oregon Green School