GRANITE FALLS, Wash. - While many students head back to the classroom for the first day of the new school year, school districts themselves are learning a lesson in what it takes to do more with less.
Most school districts have had to make big budget cuts during tough economic times. That is forcing some school leaders to get creative in order to save money.
"Every little bit can count", says Brandon Klepper, lead grounds man and Wrestling coach in the Granite Falls School District.
Klepper is now the district's garbage man. Instead of contracting out garbage service, Klepper drives the district's unused garbage truck from school to school collecting trash and hauling it to the landfill.
His efforts save the school district $1,500 every month. The district had to cut $1 million out of this year's budget.
"I was inspired to do this after seeing all these cuts we're making, and people losing their jobs," Klepper says.
Some districts are finding it easy to save on green, by going green.
In the Mukilteo School district nutritionist Chris Lutgen is trimming costs by composting food scraps and converting all Styrofoam trays to washable trays. The savings comes in the reduction of garbage.
"It's also a lesson for the kids," says Lutgen.