The Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) is a program of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that works to increase awareness about the lifecycle management of chemicals in American elementary, middle, and high schools. The program also facilitates the removal of excess and outdated stocks of hazardous chemicals from schools. To accomplish these goals, SC3 provides tools and facilitates partnerships between schools and outside entities from local industry and the community. The partners provide resources at no cost to the school to address chemical management challenges and help institute sustainable responsible chemical management practices.
Meridian Institute was asked by the EPA to help strengthen the SC3 program by identifying ways that SC3 partnerships can be expanded and improved. Meridian conducted interviews with current SC3 partners, EPA regional staff involved with the SC3 program, and national school associations and organizations. In addition, Meridian facilitated a focus group with current and prospective SC3 partners and other stakeholders during the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society. The interviews and the focus group explored ways to improve the SC3 program; identify and encourage new partnerships; and address challenges that have been encountered in the past. Meridian summarized the results of this assessment process and outlined detailed recommendations in a report to the EPA.
Based on one of these recommendations, Meridian is now assisting the EPA in planning an SC3 stakeholders workshop. The purpose of the workshop will be to discuss ways to reach more schools, further expand the network of partners, develop more effective incentives to accomplish cleanouts, and sustain ongoing responsible chemical management.