Learn to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot (compost) to decrease the waste that goes into landfills.
Identify ways for the school community to eliminate and divert waste, and teach students and staff to use less and recycle properly. This might include separating food scraps in the cafeteria, instituting a Share Table, or outfitting your school with proper recycling bins. Other projects could include replacing single-use silverware, dishes and trays with durables, or taking advantage of programs that deal with hard to recycle items.
This is a great opportunity for the school community to:
- Recognize how much waste we generate
- Learn where garbage goes once it is collected
- Improve school-wide recycling practices
- Reflect on consumption and packaging
For more information about waste reduction projects contact Michelle Sanow at Michelle.Sanow@clark.wa.gov
Reduce & Reuse
Waste Free Lunches – Learn how to pack a waste-free lunch.
Share Table – Create a Share Table in your cafeteria to keep food in the hands of students instead of the garbage.
USDA Food Waste Infographic – What schools can do today to reduce their food waste
Clark County Garbage Infographic – Visually track the all the steps from Disposal to the Dump.
Guide to Conducting Student Food Waste Audits – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the University of Arkansas collaborated to create a guide for students and school personnel about the amount of food wasted in their cafeterias. The guide provides information on why and how to do a food waste audit, what to do with the data collected, and also offers food waste prevention ideas.
Tools for Reducing Waste – Clark County Green Schools can provide these tools for your school to recycle more and compost food scraps
Student Monitor Guide – This guide helps schools form and perpetuate a student monitor system for the cafeteria sort table. having students help their peers in the sort line sets an example of personal responsibility.
Classroom Recycling Guide – A great reference with photos to make recycling at school simpler.
Trex Challenge – Schools compete against each other to see who can collect the most plastic bags, wrap and film. MORE INFO
Granola Bar Wrappers – Recycle any foil-lined granola bar wrappers for free through TerraCycle. MORE INFO
Crayola ColorCycle - Recycle any Crayola markers for free through Crayola MORE INFO
Sort Table – For schools interested in composting food scraps, we will provide a sort table free of charge. Contact us to inquire about getting a sort table and also complementary education to make the program successful.
Composting – If you have a school garden, composting trimmings from plants is a great way to also provide students with the opportunity to learn about composting and how compoost impacts plant growth. The Master Composter Recycler program has resources on their website about different types of "backyard" compost systems. Composting activities and curriculum can also be found at LifeLab and Kids Gardening.
Worm Bin Presentation – Have a Master Composter Recycler come to your classroom with pet worms! A compost expert leads an educational exercise about the importance of worms, composting and FBI (Fungi, Bacteria, Invertebrates). This is followed by an interactive session where students are given placemats and piles from the worm or decomposition bin, and are able to explore and identify the invertebrates they find. If you’re interested in having a classroom bin, a Master Composter Recycler can teach the class how to take care of it, and leave behind a working bin for the class to take care of.
For more information, contact Pete Dubois at Pete.Dubois@clark.wa.gov
School medication disposal – Schools can accumulate unwanted medication when families simply don’t pick up their meds at the end of the school year. If your school/district has medications to dispose of, this can be safely done using Stericycle. Contact Stericycle for more information on safe pick up and disposal. MORE INFO
Home medication disposal – Take a look at the Clark Green Neighbors website for info on to properly dispose of medications from your home. MORE INFO
School battery recycling - Batteries are required to be recycled in the state of Washington. There are many convenient mail-in recycling options through: Call2Recycle, Battery Solutions, Big Green Box, TerraCycle, and more. MORE INFO