California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

School DEEL Desktop Reference

Draft Document currently under review and evaluation by California's school districts.


This reference was created to assist California school districts in a number of ways. Most importantly, it pulls together waste, water, air, and energy resource conservation information and Web links all related to school facilities, functions, and departments. If you've ever had a question about how to start a school district composting program, where to purchase recycled content paper, or how to build a better school campus while conserving air, energy and water resources, this reference was created with you in mind.

You'll find useful information, including school survey data, model school waste reduction programs and much more, to help start and fully implement your school district's waste reduction and resource conservation program. Your school district will benefit as you integrate your resource conservation efforts with your environmental curriculum. By doing so, your school district will realize cost savings, and more efficient facilities for students, teachers, staff and the community as well as helping achieve your district's overall environmental objectives.

Waste Management

Whether you are a school district administrator concerned about increases in solid waste disposal costs, or a city/county recycling coordinator working with a local school district, setting up or improving an existing school waste reduction program can benefit everyone involved. If you are looking for a specific section read further to find a description for some of the sections provided.

California Waste Stream Profiles: Public School Districts

This easy to use database provides school district summary data for waste composition, diversion programs, and education curriculum, along with general statistics about each district. The Profiles database provides summary information on grants, awards, and other assistance provided by the CIWMB, contacts for more information, and links to school-related sites inside and outside the CIWMB. Use this resource to gain an initial overview of your district in terms of waste types and diversion programs and to obtain contact information. Find out what your school district is doing in regards to waste management efforts, and check out other school districts.

Waste Reduction Survey

School Districts can view completed survey forms from their own school district, neighboring districts and districts statewide to find out which waste reduction programs are being implemented by using the School District Waste Reduction Survey website Using survey data from your school district is a great way to establish a baseline regarding existing waste reduction program implementation and to use as a tool to identify potential program improvements and/or expansions. Once you have an idea of additional programs you might like to implement, improve or expand, you can query the survey data for specific waste reduction activities to see which school districts have implemented those programs. Contact information is then available and can be used to connect with these districts about specific program logistics and resources. School District Diversion Report

The School District Diversion Project was initiated in response to Public Resources Code section 42620-42622 which requires the CIWMB to implement a waste reduction program for school districts. This includes the development of a model waste reduction program, training, and ongoing assistance, and information on programs for other states and institutions. The School District Diversion Project provides initial key findings which spotlight strategies and barriers in six pilot model school waste reduction programs. Learn how these findings can benefit you in developing your school districts waste reduction plan.

Solid Waste Characterization

Have you ever wanted to know how much paper, glass, food, and other wastes are discarded in your city, county, or by a specific generator (i.e., business type)? By using the waste characterization information for solid waste planning, local government planners, haulers, recyclers, and businesses can estimate the amount of specific materials in their waste stream through this database.

The CIWMB's waste characterization information helps businesses and school districts understand what is in their waste streams - a first step in developing strategies to reduce waste and cut disposal costs.

Waste Reduction Strategies for Each Department Within a School District

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle is a resource conservation philosophy promoting reduction in solid waste generation through changes in the manner in which materials are purchased, used, and discarded. This approach can easily be integrated into a school district's business and educational culture to conserve resources, reduce waste, and save money. Strategies to facilitate district administration policy and procedures, successful contracting for waste management services, buying recycled-content products, and resources for greening school districts building projects are just a few strategies highlighted.

Model School Waste Reduction Programs

Many school districts have already been successful in improving their economic and environmental performance through the implementation of waste reduction initiatives. Using the link below, you will learn about successful waste prevention, composting, and recycling programs in school districts throughout the State. From rural programs that collect cafeteria waste for vermicomposting to urban districts that take advantage of cooperative recycled-product purchasing opportunities, this resource contains information shared from various districts that have developed active, successful programs to reduce waste and save money!

CIWMB selected a variety of school districts throughout the state to serve as pilot programs to quantify benefits in terms of reducing waste flows to local landfills and saving schools money. To give you an idea of the waste prevention techniques schools are implementing, here are a few success stories.

Waste Reduction Strategies at Large Venues and Events

Looking for information about reducing waste disposal fees and increasing recycling when you host a large special event in your school district, such as a football game or concert? This website provides advice on developing a special event waste reduction program including: getting management support, recycled-content purchasing, program financing and implementation, and getting publicity and community support. You will also find sample waste reduction facility polices and use permit language.

Household Hazardous Waste and Used Oil Programs

Need help with information about what to do with household hazardous waste and used oil. This web page provides you with program information on collection centers, grants, and alternatives to the illegal disposal of household hazardous waste and used oil to protect California's environment.

Green Building Design and Construction

Sustainable design or building "green" is an opportunity to use our resources efficiently while creating healthier buildings.

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS, often referred to as "chips") seeks to increase the energy efficiency of schools in California by marketing information, services, and incentive programs directly at school districts and designers. The collaborative's goal is to facilitate the design of high performance schools' environments that are not only energy efficient but also healthy, comfortable, well-lit, and contain the amenities needed for a quality education.


California Air Pollution Control Districts

California is divided into 35 air pollution control districts (APCDs) and air quality management districts (AQMDs), which are also called air districts. An air district can cover part of a county, one county, or several counties. These agencies are county or regional governing authorities that have primary responsibility for controlling air pollution from stationary sources.

Clean Air Toxics Program

Regulatory Information for Naturally Occurring Asbestos. There are two Air Resources Board (ARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCMs) for asbestos. The first is the Asbestos ATCM for Surfacing Applications and the second is the Asbestos ATCM for Construction, Grading, Quarrying, and Surface Mining Operations. Also, the U.S. EPA is responsible for enforcing regulations relating to asbestos renovations and demolitions. However, the U.S. EPA can delegate this authority to state and local agencies. The ARB and local air districts have received delegated authority to enforce the federal National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) regulations for asbestos.

Airborne Toxic Control Measures for School Bus Idling. The ARB has approved an ATCM that would limit school bus idling and idling at or near schools to only when necessary for safety or operational concerns. The effective date of the ATCM is pending approval by the Office of Administrative Law.

Health Studies

California Portable Classroom Study. Review the draft report to the California Legislature on environmental health conditions in California's portable classrooms.

Indoor Air Quality Report and Possible Mitigation Options for Schools (AB 1173 Indoor Air Quality Report). The Governor signed Assembly Bill 1173 (Keeley) into law in September 2002. This bill requires ARB to compile a comprehensive report on indoor air pollution, including information on the health effects and sources of indoor pollutants; the effects of existing regulations and industry practices; and possible mitigation options for homes, schools and non-industrial workplaces.

Laws and Regulations

Bluebook California Air Pollution Control Laws. Here you will find current text of local, State, and federal statutes plus state and local regulations effecting air quality management in California. The searchable California Air Pollution Control Laws (also known as the "bluebook") includes all relevant Health and Safety Code sections of law plus those air pollution related statutes from other California codebooks. The California Air Quality Legislation Web page provides a retrospective of recent legislative activity plus links to California legislative Web sites.


Permits, Certifications, Exemptions, and Registrations. Find out about "The Bill of Rights for Environmental Permit Applicants," plus an overview of air quality permitting issues in California, and finally several hot links to ARB topic areas, which involve certifications, variances, or other ARB approvals.

Training and Compliance Assistance

The ARB Stationary Source Division offers training to provide comprehensive education to further the professional development of environmental specialists. The courses offered in this program provide current, practical, usable, and cost-effective information for environmental professionals, owners, and managers from regulated industries or environmental consultants.


Construction and Design

The Division of State Architects provides you with two web links that contain information on assist in building schools that both energy efficient and sustainable.

The Alliance to Save Energy provides links for financing and sustainable construction information for new school construction.

Audit Resources

The California Energy Commission offers school districts with energy saving practices, school design, and modernization through the Bright Schools Program. This program provides school districts with extensive assessment audits and consultations with schools that are serious about implementing resource-saving recommendations. A fee is required for participating in the program.

Need an extra pair of hands in performing audits and implementing programs? The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is the largest and longest running youth conservation corps in the world. The CCC can help with project and program implementation in protecting and enhancing California's environment and community.

Policy and Practices

The California School Board Association can assist school districts with sample energy conservation policies and resolutions.

Portland Energy Conservation Inc Operations and Maintenance Best Practices series of publications provides on-line handbooks containing valuable information about operations and maintenance best practices, including sample project plans, schedules, and checklists.


Information regarding high performance schools, indoor air quality, survey data, and academic reports can be found at the National Clearinghouse For Educational Facilities (NCEF) Web page.

Geoexchange the geothermal heat pump consortium helps school district administrators face the life-cycle costs of heating and cooling systems by planning for long-term efficiency in school buildings to maximize resources. Find out why geothermal energy is energy-efficient and environmentally clean.

Did you know that America's schools spend more than $6 billion annually on energy? Learn more about energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies and Energy Smart Schools at the US Department of Energy's web site of Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.


Integrated Pest Management

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has developed Web pages to assist school districts with the implementation of the Healthy Schools Act of 2000. You will find surveys, information, and help with implementation using integrated pest management.


The California School Board Association provides school districts with sample school board policy for water conservation.

Storm Water

This California State Resources Control Board web page provides helpful databases for best management practices in reducing pollutants in storm water.


Department of Water Resources' Water Use Efficiency Web page provides water use efficiency planning and coordination. School districts can find services that include technical and financial assistance, information collection and dissemination, along with resources evaluation, and implementation.

The California Urban Water Conservation Council Web site provides a listing of water utility members and assistance with water usage reports.

We hope that this reference is useful for you. Your feedback is welcome and needed to help us improve this resource.

Last updated: December 22, 2004
Office of Education and the Environment
Contact: (916) 341-6769