LKDSB: Eliminating plastics, revenues down, renos for Wallaceburg

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Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative

The Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) is one step closer to abandoning plastic in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

At a recent board meeting, LKDSB moved to establish a committee to prioritize which single-use plastics they can eliminate first.

More than three million tonnes of plastic is thrown away in Canada per year, representing 90 per cent of what Canadians consume.

The school board’s heaviest use of single-use plastics comes through garbage bags. Last academic year more than 713,900 bags were purchased along with 230,000 gloves and 10,152 water bottles.

Plastic PPE, water bottles and other essential necessities would not be replaced in the event of an emergency, without a proven safe alternative.

The committee will also consult with stakeholders and provide a financial breakdown on how much the changes would cost.

The initiative to phase out and reduce single-use plastics began in October 2019. One of the driving reasons behind the decision was to align the board with Canada’s plan to ban all harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021.

Reduction in revenue, Wallaceburg Secondary gets a makeover

Expenditures since March Break are not following normal expected spending patterns for LKDSB due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brian McKay Superintendent of Business, told the board.

Learning-from-home initiatives – purchasing electronics  and booklets for students – are eating up specific budget lines, while others are expected to be underused. In addition, the board is losing revenue from community events, daycare, and after-school programs as it suspends rent for its care providers.

McKay said they are currently analyzing the impacts on the board’s projected year-end financial results and will provide more information to trustees during the third quarter financial report.

Elric Contractors of Wallaceburg Inc. was awarded the tender for renovations on the interior and exterior of Wallaceburg District Secondary School. More than $1.8 million will be used from the School Renewal and School Condition Improvement Restricted budget lines.

The work will proceed only if it meets the definition of essential workplaces by the Government of Ontario.

The school is being renovated to turn underutilized areas in the school to new student hubs and the second-floor community kitchen will be moved to the first floor.

“I’m so pleased to hear the words, ‘student centered’ and as far as how we’re using our budget,” said chair Jane Bryce.

 

 

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