Connecticut Foundation
for Environmentally Safe Schools

Hartford County

Simsbury School Green Clean Recognition Program

Program Coordinator Name: Steven Twitchell
School District: Simsbury Public Schools
Number of School Buildings: Seven Schools (750,000.00 sq. ft)
Address: 933 Hopmeadow Street Simsbury, CT 06070

When did you begin a shift to green clean practices?

Over six years ago we began looking at chemicals and cleaning equipment and maintenance practices.

What environmentally preferable products are currently in use in schools in your district? Are they certified by a third party such as Green Seal?

We are in the process right now of choosing a Green Seal product for use in our school.

What green clean equipment and procedures are being implemented?

Vacuum cleaners that are 98.9% and back-pak vacuums that are filtered 4 times. Water-less carpet cleaning and formulated floor care products that reduce the harsh stripping chemicals. All wood floors are sealed using products that have little or no VOC's. An extensive filter changing program. Continual preventive maintenance on exhaust fans Air handling Units.

Who participates in your green clean program? (i.e. number of schools, members on your TFS teams like nurses, custodians and parents, etc.) What role do they play in this process?

All seven schools participate in the program. Senior custodians have direct input on what we purchase. Nursing staff is part of our safety committee and they have the opportunity to give input on items that we purchase.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the green clean program?

We are constantly getting feed back from custodians and staff on products that are being used.

What were some initial obstacles to switching to a green clean approach? How did you overcome these obstacles?

Old cleaning habits and staff bringing in items from home. Change is often difficult as new products are introduced. Some of the new Green chemicals do not appear to clean or be as effective as the traditional chemicals of years past.

What benefits are you experiencing as a result of a green clean program? (i.e. cost and/or health benefits)

The vacuum cleaners have been a great success as we have put less dust particles back into the air. We have yet to see cost or health benefits as of yet.

What recommendations would you make to other school districts and indoor environmental quality teams considering a green clean approach?

Go slow and make sure that you research and do what fits to your community. Every school district has it's own set of unique circumstances and what may work well for one district may not work at all in another.

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