DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

Montana SMART School Challenge Saves Money by Preventing Pollution

Helena — Montana’s SMART Schools Challenge encourages pollution prevention throughout the school year and provides cash rewards to help Montana's K-12 public schools “Save Money and Resources Today.” Schools participating in last year’s K-12 Challenge recycled and composted 60,000 pounds of waste and saved more than $100,000 through energy conservation.

Lt. Governor Angela McLean describes the SMART School Challenge as a “friendly competition among schools to see who can save the most money and resources by conserving energy, recycling, and implementing green practices that improve student health.”

Schools have until October 30, 2015 to enroll in the SMART Schools Challenge and compete with other schools to win one of twelve $1,000 prizes. In addition to the cash prize, small sponsorships are available to assist with obtaining needed equipment, training, or supplies.

The Challenge has three categories: SMART Energy Challenge, SMART Green Schools Challenge, and SMART Recycling Challenge. Montana K-12 public schools may enroll in one, two, or all three of these sub-challenges. Participating schools will implement pollution prevention activities between November and the end of March, before submitting a final report in April.

Technical expertise, assistance, and mentoring for the Challenge are being provided by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the Montana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council serving as mentors to schools.

To find out more and encourage your school to sign up for the SMART Schools Challenge visit: You can also email the team at or contact DEQ's Bonnie Rouse ( at 406-444-6439.

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