Did you know that a majority of what schools throw away can be recycled?

Schools Recycling

Did you know that a majority of what schools throw away can be recycled? Paper, plastics—even leftover food—can be kept out of landfills, saving natural resources, energy and space.  Did you know that recycling and green waste services cost less than trash, so recycling can save money for your school?

Lafayette school campuses are the largest facilities in Lafayette and have a tremendous opportunity to reduce waste and increase the city’s overall diversion rate.  Many of our schools have already been working hard and made great progress.

Lafayette Green Schools Initiative

The Lafayette Green Schools Initiative is a partnership between Sustainable Lafayette and the Lafayette Elementary School District aimed at saving money and making the district more environmentally friendly.  The district is already saving over $100K/year from a wide range of upgrades and changes, including reducing waste.  See the list…

Reducing Lunch Waste

Reducing lunch waste has been a big focus of school green teams at each school through the following types of changes:

  • Participating in the Food Scrap Recycling Program.
  • Eliminating single-use disposable items that end up in the garbage – like water bottles, juice-box straws, cardboard lunch trays, and other unnecessary junk.
  • Establishing kid Green Teams to monitor and support lunch recycling.
  • Trying to standardize recycling practices across schools.

Parents are also helping by packing “zero waste lunches” at home that rely on reusable containers and leave no waste at school.

The Free WasteBusters Program

The Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority (CCCSWA) has created waste reduction and recycling programs to help decrease waste at the public and private schools within its service area. CCCSWA and a contractor will work with administrators, teachers, facility managers, custodians and most importantly, students, to implement successful school recycling programs that help make waste prevention a part of everyday life.   CCCSWA  can help you organize and maintain your school recycling and source reduction programs – their services are FREE to all schools.

FREE services include:

  • Wastebusters Certification Rewards Program
  • Materials Recovery Facility field trips
  • Wastebusters 4Rs Curriculum
  • Classroom and Lunchtime Power Point presentations
  • Food Waste Collection Program (NEW!)
  • Waste audits for students
  • Assemblies by EarthCapades!
  • Composting workshops
  • And much more! Keep looking!

(Thanks to RecycleSmart.org for this content.)

For free programs and resources, please see the RecycleSmart.org school page.

Facts About School Waste

Students - Every student currently produces 240 pounds of waste per student per year, over 90% of which is plastic, organic food waste, and plastic.

Elementary Schools - Lafayette elementary schools produced 634 tons of waste in 2012, and recycled only 40% of this. That means 379 tons of garbage went into landfills. 138 tons of food waste was recycled, as was 24.5 tons of green waste and 92.1 tons of general waste.

High School - Acalanes High School District disposes of 645 tons of garbage each year.