Partners in Education

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement's (JA) BizTown program provides students with a realistic opportunity to experience how basic economic concepts are applied in the real world. By participating in JA BizTown, young students experience the responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship in a free enterprise system. Designed for students in 4th through 6th grades. In the JA BizTown facility, students operate many businesses including retail stores, manufacturing shops, media outlets, a utility service, a restaurant, a bank, and City Hall. All businesses are outfitted with modern office equipment and business supplies. Students learn firsthand what it takes to create and run a business, as well as personally earn and manage money. SWACO is proud sponsor of the recycling and waste diversion business at JA Biztown!
Kids Recycling

Get Green Columbus

The City of Columbus recognizes the role a healthy environment plays in creating a city in which people want to live, work and raise a family.  Several years ago, the city of Columbus established the Sustainable Columbus initiative, which includes the GreenSpot Program.    

Columbus GreenSpot 

Your house can be a GreenSpot! Residents have a unique role to play in making our community a greener place and their commitment can be acknowledged through the GreenSpot program. It's easy. Visit the GreenSpot website, click the Join tab, register as a community group and submit your commitments through the online application.
GreenSpot Logo

Columbus GreenSpot Kids

Your classroom can be a GreenSpot!  Just let us know what three things you will do within the next year to protect our air, soil or water. Once approved, your classroom will receive a GreenSpot decal in recognition of your substantial contribution to our community. If you are looking for ideas check out GreenSpot Kids for lesson plans, tools, and information about incorporating sustainability into your curriculum!

'My House' at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Welcome to 'My House'. The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium partnered in the Spring of 2000 in developing the My House experience. The partnership resulted in the Authority's sponsorship of the My House education center, located at the entrance way to the North American Region at the Zoo. My House allows visitors to experience exhibits and programs based on North American habitats, human influence and its impact on habitats, and the surrounding environment. In the kitchen visitors learn about proactive and positive steps that we can take in order to have less of an impact on our environment.
Columbus Zoo

Recycled Construction Materials

SWACO assisted the Columbus Zoo in choosing recycled content construction material to incorporate into the My House building. RASTRA® was chosen for wall system construction. The material was manufactured from post-consumer packaging and food service polystyrene. SWACO identified school lunch trays as a prime source of post-consumer polystyrene and worked to launch a temporary school lunch-tray recycling program. Sixty-three Franklin County Schools participated in the temporary lunch tray collection from August 2000 through December 2000. Participating schools (PDF) provided approximately 14% of the polystyrene needed to construct My House.

Post-consumer polystyrene material was ground and mixed with cement to manufacture the prefabricated wall system panels. The lightweight panels were easily stacked and interlocked using an expanding foam glue. Channels were cut into the soft wall panels to allow the installation of electrical wiring. The panels were also cut to accommodate specific window and door openings. The assembled panels create a hollow form which is then reinforced with steel rods and filled with concrete to provide a strong, insulated wall system. Once in place, the polystyrene walls are covered with an exterior siding or stucco finish.

Community Education

My House provides education and awareness opportunities for potentially 1.3 million Zoo visitors annually. This is an opportunity to provide a positive experience for visitors and to educate the public about how to reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Audubon Society

SWACO partnered with Audubon, Ohio to assist in the construction of the Grange Insurance Audubon Center (GIAC) located on the Whittier Penninsula. The GIAC opened August 28, 2009 and serves as destination nature center for urban populations, local residents and, visitors to Central Ohio. It is a real-world demonstration of the benefits of sustainable design and construction, minimalist architecture, resource conservation, energy efficiency, and land reclamation. Not to mention, it serves as a beautiful urban oasis for birds, wildlife, and humans!

Recycle Right, Make a Difference at COSI

In April 2019, SWACO and COSI unveiled a new recycling education exhibit for families. Four, giant kiosks illustrate how common recyclable materials are broken down for recycling. The display includes life cycles of recycled commodities and show consumer products that are made by recycling them.Computer monitors invite guests to quiz their recycling knowledge and learn how Recycling Right can Make a Difference!

PAST Foundation

PAST started as a non-profit organization in 2000 founded by an international Board of Trustees who have devoted volumes of time to seeing that the mission of PAST is achievable. Founded to promote partnerships between anthropologists and educators, PAST successfully initiated and implemented projects throughout the United States and has proposed projects that will take it into the international arena.
River Clean Up

Garbology Program

The PAST/SWACO/Metro High School Garbology Program involved one hundred, 9th grade students representing 16 school districts that attended the Metro High School. Students kicked off the program with a field trip to the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill to learn about how central Ohio manages garbage. The field trip provided hands-on learning experience to a semester long initiative in creating a valuable recycling environment at the Metro High School. Students investigated garbage as one of the overarching threads of study and research for a semester.

The hands-on experiential program melded lessons in science, environmental studies, and humanities with current issues facing our students. The PAST/SWACO/Metro High School Garbology Program is a combination of successful existing programs and new delivery tools. Topics covered focused on environmental impact, research and development, and sustainability while considering historical innovations and their impact. Students also had the opportunity to study under the late Dr. William Rathje, world-renowned social Anthropologist, Archaeologist and "Garbologist."

King Arts Complex

SWACO Grant monies have helped to develop a Trash to Treasure exhibit, interactive video games for kids, and purchase picnic tables and benches made of recycled plastic milk jugs.