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California High School Earns Sustainable Grounds Care First


By Dan Hounsell Grounds Management
elementary school

Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, California, has been certified as the first AGZA Green Zone High School in the United States. An American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) Green Zone is a defined property on which all routine grounds maintenance is performed with low-noise zero-emission battery-electric equipment. 

Green Zones slash noise pollution and reduce costs for maintenance and parts, resulting in a healthy ROI and significant ongoing profitability over gasoline operations. A school campus is an ideal setting for all the benefits of an AGZA Green Zone. Students, faculty, and the surrounding community will appreciate the quieter pollution-free grounds operations. Crews will benefit from safer and healthier working conditions and can take pride in being an integral part of improving the quality of life for everyone on campus. 

The results are very impressive. Over four tons of airborne pollution — carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, non-methane hydrocarbons, fine particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides — as well as all solid and toxic waste streams from gas parts and maintenance, will be eliminated from the campus every single year. Noise pollution has been reduced by at least 40–70 percent. Overall hourly operational costs are lower. Among the achievements: 


  • 6,483 pounds of carbon dioxide 

  • 1,912 pounds of carbon monoxide
  • 294 pounds of non-methane hydrocarbons
  • 61 pounds of fine particulate matter 

  • 11 pounds of nitrogen oxide 

  • Reduced solid and toxic waste stream 

  • Reduced noise pollution 40-70 percent 

  • Reduced operational cost per hour. 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor, facility group.

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