California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

School Waste Reduction

Business Services

An important component of managing an efficient school business is to analyze and evaluate the district’s current waste management activities and research and implement effective districtwide waste reduction programs. A school district’s business services division or department often includes facilities and planning, child nutrition/food service, personnel, purchasing, technology services, and operations and maintenance, which are addressed as individual departments in these webpages. The following provides waste reduction information and strategies relating to contracting for waste management services (disposal, recycling, composting). It also provides waste reduction information for district offices and print shops targeting paper waste reduction and recycling.

Service Contracts

Many school districts do not realize the choices they have with respect to contracting for waste management services. This section of the site outlines different opportunities for school districts when making arrangements for refuse collection and disposal, and for recycling services. 

School districts can save money through effective refuse and recycling collection/hauling contracts.

  • Sequoia Union High School District, San Mateo County, was able to save $50,000, increase the recycling rate, and reduce contamination by switching management service providers.

By understanding the range of services that local haulers provide, a school district can often obtain increased services at a greater value to the school district. The purpose of this section of the site is to provide school districts with the tools, information, and other resources necessary to effectively evaluate the refuse and recycling collection/hauling opportunities available and to facilitate the development of a successful waste management services contract.

School districts have three primary options for collecting and hauling their waste:

  • Do it yourself. Some school districts secure their own equipment, trucks, and staff to handle and haul their waste.
  • Use the city/county franchised hauler. Many school districts use the same franchised hauler contracted for refuse (and recycling) collection and hauling as their host city or county.
  • Contract refuse collection/hauling services independent of city/county. More and more school districts are going out to bid for refuse (and recycling) collection and hauling services. 

You can read more about hauling options, including legal references and example requests for quotations in Trash Hauling in the 90s (presented by the California Association for School Business Officials). To obtain a copy, please contact Marshalle Graham of CalRecycle.

Ideally, recycling and composting can be integrated within your school district's solid waste hauling contract. Your local jurisdiction contact may be able to help you evaluate the school district’s existing service contract, develop contract amendments, and/or build cost savings and recycling into a new request for proposal (RFP) or invitation to bid (IFB) when your waste-hauling contract is up for renewal. The following are sample RFPs that include recycling and composting for reference

School Waste Reduction Home

Last updated: January 9, 2017
School Waste Reduction http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/ReduceWaste/Schools/
Contact: (916) 341-6199 or LAMD@CalRecycle.ca.gov