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The original item was published from 4/1/2016 11:19:00 PM to 4/15/2016 6:40:52 PM.

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Executive - Press Release

Posted on: April 1, 2016

[ARCHIVED] County to launch annual environmental contest for local schools

New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon invites all county schools to participate in the annual “Great Schools, Clean Streams” contest that aims to keep grease, oils and fats out of the county’s sanitary sewer system.

The “Great Schools, Clean Streams” campaign is scheduled to run from Monday, April 4 to Thursday, April 21. In that time frame, residents can support their local schools by pledging to dispose of used cooking grease properly.

“Everybody wins when county residents keep used cooking fats, oils, and grease out of their drains,” Gordon said. “Homeowners avoid the risk of clogged pipes, toilet backups, and plumber bills. The county reduces the bill that taxpayers have to foot to clean out clogged sewers.”

The 16 New Castle County schools that collect the most pledges will win cash for campus projects or classroom materials. First prize earns the top public and private school $1,500 each.

Each year, Daniel Sullivan and Michael Harris, with the county’s Department of Special Services, work with Water Words That Work to coordinate this public awareness campaign, per federal and state mandates. Special Services includes sewers, buildings and park maintenance, and engineering for the design and construction of county facilities.

"We’re working with local schools to educate county residents about simple steps they can take to protect their own plumbing and the county’s sewer systems," Sullivan said.

The winners will be announced on Earth Day, Friday, April 22. When New Castle County residents sign the online pledge, they can assign their pledge to any public, charter, or private school in the county. The three public schools and the three private schools that collect the most pledges will earn $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Ten additional Honorable Mentions prizes of $200 each will be awarded to the next ten pledge earners in order, regardless of school category.

"Here’s what residents should do with their leftover cooking grease," Sullivan said. "Pour it in can, and throw the can in the trash."

Great Schools, Clean Streams 2016 Prizes
Prize Level Public Schools Private Schools
First Place $1,500 $1,500
Second Place $1,000 $1,000
Third Place $500 $500
Honorable Mentions x 10 $200

Total to be Awarded $8,000

For more information:
Daniel Sullivan, New Castle County Department of Special Services, (302) 395-5707 [email protected]
Eric Eckl, Water Words That Work LLC, (703) 829-6732 ext. 6, [email protected]
Or visit

Also, please see NCCTV’s County Highlights host Melody Kitchen interviewing Sullivan about the Great Schools, Clean Streams contest via YouTube here. Kitchen’s show on Great Schools, Clean Streams is airing at 6:30 p.m., 10:35 p.m., 1:38 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. daily on Comcast Channel 22, Verizon Channel 29 and via streaming at

Last year, Kitchen interviewed members of the Odyssey Charter School team that won last year’s public school category.

“It went really well, and they were really proud,” Kitchen said. “This year, we’re planning on doing the same thing. We’ll have the winners come to the NCCTV Studio and hear about their winning strategies. It will be fun.”


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