Microfiber mops will keep the floor clean and do a better job of cleaning the floor and are easier to use than a mop and bucket. Also, microfibers will help prevent the spread of MRSA. With MRSA it is recommended that you change your mop water every 200 square feet.
As you know, I like to share best practices and process with my colleagues. Today, I am sharing the notification of the the IPM workshop that will be taking place in PA. It is important for our colleagues to know that the workshop is taking place – (1) to attend if you live and work in the Pittsburg area and most importantly (2) to reach out to the IPM folks in your state and ask that a similar program be offered to you and your colleagues. This is an example of a practice that can be replicated in any state of the country.
Please share your thoughts with me about it.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Reducing the use of pesticides in and around schools is attracting attention of parents, school facilities managers, administrators and lawmakers alike. Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Pennsylvania IPM Program are offering a workshop in Pittsburgh to help schools manage pests using cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods.
According to Lyn Garling, PA IPM Manager of Programs, children are more sensitive to potential negative effects of chemicals in their environment. “Several states have passed laws mandating pest management techniques that reduce or eliminate the need for insecticides and herbicides in schools,” Garling explains. “In Pennsylvania, public schools are legally bound to practice integrated pest management, or IPM. IPM is an approach to pest management that uses knowledge of pests’ biology and multiple control tactics to improve success while reducing reliance on pesticides.”
The workshop, “Lean & Green: Best Practices for School Grounds”, is being held July 7th at the O’Hara Elementary School, 115 Cabin Lane in Pittsburgh from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. will focus on keeping school grounds both safe and attractive in the lean years by using an IPM approach and few or no pesticides. “Grounds managers are being challenged to control pests while keeping students safe and costs contained. The workshop will give them a practical perspective on cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods to manage pests,” says Dr. Jennifer Grant, assistant director of the New York State IPM Program and a workshop presenter.
The workshop will also include outdoor demonstrations of practices, walking discussions and presentations by experienced educators. Participants will see comparison plots showing the effects of different practices on lawn health and weed suppression. Participants should include those with responsibility for grounds maintenance including public and private schools staff, commercial landscape contractors, cooperative extension educators, and parks & recreation staff.
Speakers include Grant, who will discuss prioritizing and selecting best management practices for turf maintenance. She will also lead a discussion on how grounds managers can communicate their program to administrators, school boards, parents and staff. Another presenter, Jeff Fowler, cooperative extension agent in Venengo County, will lead a field walk to show demonstrations of side-by-side comparisons of practices and discussions of challenges and opportunities. Sandy Feather, cooperative extension agent in Allegheny County, will speak on and demonstrate IPM techniques for ornamentals on school grounds.
Registration for the workshop is $20 and includes lunch and a number of valuable informational resources. Pesticide credits will be provided in Categories 6,7,18, 23 and “private”. Attendance is limited to 50 participants on a first come basis. To register, go to http://www.event.com/d/4dqhsn.
For more information on the workshop, contact Sandy Feather at (412) 473-2540.
The workshop is sponsored by the IPM Institute of North America and USEPA, USDA Northeastern IPM in Schools Work Group, New York IPM Program at Cornell University, Pennsylvania IPM Program at Penn State, and Penn State Cooperative Extension.
The Pennsylvania IPM Program is a collaboration between the Pennsylvania State University and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture aimed at promoting integrated pest management in both agricultural and urban settings. For more information, contact the program at (814) 865-2839, or Web site http://www.paipm.org. To view our archived news releases, see Web site http://paipm.cas.psu.edu/10.htm.
PA IPM Program
I received a note from the Center for Green Schools (CGS) at the US Green Building Council asking for some assistance with their resource development program.
Specifically, the CGS is looking for one or two people who would be good spokespeople for using ENERGY STAR to benchmark facilities. They are wrapping up development of a web training series for green existing schools, geared toward facilities staff. The modules in the series align with the general staff breakdown in a school district: energy management, green cleaning, grounds keeping, purchasing, etc.
For each module, they would like to have one or two voices from district staff around the country. We will show a few pictures while the invited speakers talk about their experience with the particular subject matter in the module (approx. 3 to 5 minutes, so very short).
They are looking for a couple of school districts to tell their story in the training on “Tools for Green Schools: ENERGY STAR”.
Please let me know if you know of someone who may be interested in the opportunity to assist our colleagues throughout the country.
Conduct a periodic inventory control at least once a year. And when you do that you want to be sure to check all containers for rust, corrosion, leakage, anything that is going to allow chemical to breakthrough from that container. And many chemicals are themselves reactive or they are stored near other reactive things that can lead for instance to corrosion
|Have you ever wondered how much it costs your school district to maintain an IPM program? Thanks to an up-and-coming tool called the IPM Cost Calculator, schools will soon be able to accurately estimate the annual expenses for their district to implement an IPM program. Funded by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Southern Region IPM Center and developed by Dr. Blake Bennett, Dr. Michael Merchant, Janet Hurley and Nate VanBuskirk of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the IPM Cost Calculator is a free teaching and evaluation tool designed to help school staff, administrators and facility personnel ensure a pest-free environment with the most efficient use of financial resources. Its mission is to help key decision makers in schools reach informed decisions regarding their IPM program, including planning and budgeting for important improvements. In addition to determining the current total cost of an IPM program, the IPM Cost Calculator software is designed to:
The IPM Cost Calculator’s user-friendly online interface allows participants to easily complete a 64-question survey of the schools in their district. Survey questions address pest hot-spot zones, such as outdoor garbage areas, staff lounges, cafeterias and food storage areas as well as behavioral practices of teachers, custodians, kitchen staff and administers. Among its features, the IPM Cost Calculator uses information on 18 frequently occurring pests to help gauge pest risk for schools. Pest density maps are associated with each of the 18 pests, giving the calculator the ability to predict pest risk based on a school’s zip code.
The IPM Cost Calculator is designed to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of onsite facility assessments. The full version of the IPM Cost Calculator will be available late 2011. For more information, please visit: http://www.ipmcalculator.com/.
Courtesy of the IPM Institute
When you organize your chemical storeroom properly, you’re going to mitigate spills. You do not want to store chemicals on the floor, in aisles, in the stairwells and so on. Take a picture of how the chemicals are stored. This provides guidance for your staff and a record of how the storeroom should be organized. You insurance provider will find this a good practice as well.
You need to be careful when you’re stacking chemical containers to make sure they are very stable. While this may be a common sense item, it is surprising how careless we can sometimes be especially when we are in a hurry or otherwise preoccupied.
A good practice is to create a preventative maintenance action item that automatically creates a periodic work order that will initiate an inspection of the storeage area. I recommend that a picture of the area be taken and made part of the maintenance record for each of the inspections.
I recommend that containers be stacked more more that 2 high, if at all. Also, a container that is leaking from the second row is contaminating the bottom containers.
What best practices have you implemented? I would like to hear from you.
One of the most commonly mismanaged waste products are car batteries. Often they are stored outside quite often back behind the buildings.
The contain sulfuric acid and lead and the acid causes the lead to go into solution. If you’re in an area that gets cold weather these plastic battery cases can freeze and crack and then you’re going to drain that contamination out. These need to be recycled through a universal waste company.
A best practice is to utilize a maintenance management system such as Maintenance Direct from SchoolDude.com. When a battery is changed a work order can be generated to remind you that it needs to be disposed. You may also want to create a preventative maintenance activity that produces a work order on a regular basis to check the battery storage area and to dispose them at particular times during the year.
Uncovered containers are a real problem outside of the building because when any rain water that comes in contact with hazardous material it also becomes hazardous.