Custodians at UCSB will receive the prestigious Grand Award for their green cleaning practices as part of a contest sponsored by American School & University magazine, the Green Cleaning Network and the Healthy Schools Campaign.

UCSB was chosen to receive the Grand Award among all universities competing in the green cleaning category. The campus will be featured in AS&U magazine’s December edition.

“Being a custodian myself for many years, I know how great it feels every time we’re recognized for a job well done,” said Byron Sandoval, superintendent of UCSB Custodial Services, when asked what the award means to him and his staff of more than 100 workers. “When people ask me what I do for living, I always tell them, very proudly, that I work for the custodial department at UCSB. With this recognition for our staff, it makes me even more proud to say that.”

Since 2004, UCSB Custodial Services has had a low environmental impact cleaning policy, with the following goals:

» Improving indoor air quality.

» Increasing worker productivity.

» Training staff to think and act in an environmentally friendly manner.

All custodial staff members are also trained to use only Green Seal-certified cleaning products provided by the campus. They include general purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfectants and floor polishes.

However, there is more to a green campus than the cleaning supplies. The UCSB custodians also use nonantimicrobial and phosphorous-free hand soap; certified green cleaning equipment, such as vacuums with HEPA filters and floor burnishers; walk-off mats that collect dirt and debris before it is tracked into buildings, where it may affect air quality; 100 percent recycled content on most toilet paper, seat covers, and paper towels; and 90 percent recycled content on all trash liners.

Campus sustainability coordinator Jill Richardson, who nominated the custodial team for the award, said the honor is well-deserved. “I felt they should be recognized for all the hard work they do to maintain a clean and healthy indoor environment for all of us to work and study in,” Richardson said.

The award recipients also will be honored at the annual Green Clean Schools National Summit in Washington, D.C., in November.