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Recycling and waste reduction tips to start the year off right!

With the beginning of the schoolyear right around the corner, we want to make sure you have the right tools to properly recycle and reduce waste at your school. Recycling can be confusing, but we're here to help you with any recycling supplies and offer some tips for you to be successful in your sustainability efforts. If you need any recycling or composting supplies, please email us at You can find our offerings here.

Waste-free Lunch

When packing a lunch from home, it's easy to throw in single-serving items like a juice pouch, bag of chips, applesauce pouch, and a sandwich in a plastic bag. These can all add up to a lot of waste, but there are tons of ways to pack a lunch without any plastic baggies, pouches, and wrappers.

Best practices for waste-free lunch

  • Pack your lunch in a reusable lunchbox that can be used every day
  • Fill a reusable thermos or bottle with juice or water to take to school instead of a juice pouch
  • Don't have any Tupperware? Butter, yogurt, and other containers with lids are great options to bring snacks, fruits or veggies in. Plus you can recycle the container (not the lid) when you're done using it!
  • Bring durable silverware and a reusable napkin when possible
  • Encourage students to pack out their trash and take it home - this allows parents and guardians to see what their children are and aren't eating too!

Classroom Waste Reduction

This last year has taught us to be adaptable to new situations, and we sure have learned a lot! This has also meant that we've found even more ways to reduce waste around the classroom.

Best practices to reduce classroom waste

  • Share assignments, activities, and newsletters digitally instead of printing them out
  • Replace cleaning wipes with microfiber cloths and green cleaning products to reduce hazardous waste and improve indoor air quality - request a green cleaning kit from us here!
  • If using paper, encourage students to use both sides and have a bin for scrap paper that students can use for doodling and other activities
  • Have students bring reusable containers for snacks and water
  • Educate students on why waste reduction is important and brainstorm new ways to use less


 (Milk/juice cartons)

Small cartons can be precarious for recycling systems. If bagged, the cartons begin to mold within 24 hours and are then not recyclable. Bags also clog the machines at the recycling facility.

Best practices for cartons

  • Empty cartons must be placed in the recycle dumpster loose, not in a bag.
  • No bagged cartons (milk or juice) in recycle containers
  • Bagged cartons (milk or juice) are GARBAGE
  • If cartons are bagged, they must go in the garbage dumpster
  • Note: all recyclables should go in the recycle dumpster unbagged

 Shredded Paper

Unless shredded paper is collected by a shredding service and brought directly to the recycling facility, it cannot be recycled. This is the same for curbside residential service as well. It is simply too small to properly go through our sort system and becomes like confetti at the transfer station.

Disposal practices for shredded paper

  • No shredded paper in recycle containers, whether in a bag or not
  • Shredded paper must go in the garbage.
  • Shredded paper can be recycled If a shred service is hired. The shredded paper will be recycled through the service entity
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