Recycling at School

school recycling

School Kids Talk Trash... and Composting!

State and Local Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law

The law requires that a business (including public entities, such as schools) that generates four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week shall arrange for recycling service.

The County’s Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Section promotes recycling at schools located in the unincorporated areas of the county through free presentations and helping to establish or strengthen school recycling programs through on-site technical assistance.  We can also provide unincorporated area schools/districts with composting and waste reduction assistance.  

Free Recycling Container from the California Department of Conservation (DOC)
DOC is currently offering a free recycling starter kit, which includes a recycling container delivered to your address (limit 1 per address), more details at  Funds for this program come from unredeemed CRV deposits on bottles and cans.

School Presentations
Teaching our children to reduce, reuse and recycle now is the way to a better future. Free presentations are available to schools and groups in the unincorporated areas of the County. Presentations last approximately 45 minutes, and are delivered by a presenter with a PowerPoint presentation and hands on activities and visual aids. Presentations focus on litter, reducing, reusing, recycling and proper disposal of household hazardous waste. Students will leave the presentation knowing what, why and how they can help make our community cleaner and more sustainable.

School presentations are available for groups ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade. To schedule a presentation for your school or group, call 1-877-R-1-EARTH.

School Recycling Programs
Children who learn to recycle at home and school are more likely to continue in the future. County staff is available to help schools establish or strengthen campus recycling programs. Depending on the school’s needs, staff can identify opportunities for recycling, design a custom recycling program, and teach school staff and students different ways to promote and encourage campus participation. If funds are available, the County may purchase recycling containers for schools to collect bottles and cans. Contact April Andrews at or 858-694-2463.

Composting in Schools
The County offers free composting education and assistance with compost and worm bin set up and in some cases donation of bins.  Assistance with composting is available on a first come first serve basis and for schools located in the unincorporated county.  Please contact the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation if you are interested in setting up a composting program in your school.

More Waste Reduction Resources for Schools
The County has compiled a short directory of resources for schools to help with waste reduction efforts and related educational programs. The directory includes resources available in the San Diego region for school recycling and composting, waste reduction in cafeterias, school gardens and farm/garden field trips, conserving energy and water, litter cleanups, and handling automotive waste from auto shop programs. See the School Waste Reduction Guide below.


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