Schools are vital hubs to their local communities and are uniquely positioned to teach students waste reduction behaviors. Students can learn waste reduction at schools and bring that messaging home to their families, caregivers, and all those with whom they come in contact. This is especially important as SB 1383 implementation takes effect on January 1, 2022 and all levels of the community will need to be educated on appropriate organic waste recycling, edible food recovery, reduction, and diversion.

Schools and universities generate about 562,442 tons of waste each year in California. Almost half of school waste is comprised of organic materials like paper, cardboard, and uneaten cafeteria food. Much of the waste generated in the California education system is recyclable. Many school districts have been successful in improving their economic and environmental performance through the implementation of waste reduction initiatives.

Solid Waste and Recycling Laws That Affect Schools

Laws

Learn more about how schools and school districts can meet the requirements of California's recycling laws.

Administration & School Personnel Resources

peoples hands coming together

Learn more about opportunities to reduce waste through purchasing, procurement, maintenance, and operations.

Award and Recognition Programs

Award and Recognition

Learn more about state and national environmental award and recognition programs for schools.

School Cafeterias

School Cafeteria

The U.S. EPA food recovery hierarchy helps schools prioritize how to handle food waste.

Model Programs

Model Programs

Learn about schools that have implemented successful recycling programs.

School Waste Composition

School Waste Composition

Learn more about the types of materials a school generates to identify opportunities to reduce waste and recycle more.

Waste Prevention Ideas

Waste Prevention Ideas

Browse tips and ideas to reduce waste inside the classroom and around campus.

Grants and Funding

Grants and Funding

Funding resources for schools, teachers, and administrative staff.