School Recycling


AB-341 State Requirement to Recycle will take effect on July 1, 2012, stating the mandatory implementation of a recycling plan by businesses, public entities, and multi-family units in California. To read about the bill and what you can do to stay compliant, please visit our AB-341 page.

If your school doesn’t currently offer a recycling program you may want to consider taking the initiative and starting one.

A Few Easy Steps

1. Build Support

Discuss the issue with your school principal, administrators, maintenance, and custodial staff in order to gain support for the recycling program, mention how recycling decreases waste disposal costs.

2. Get Supplies

Visit the Department of Conservation website to get a free recycling starter kit.

3. Put Someone in Charge

Appoint a teacher to be the recycling coordinator, and have the coordinator contact the City of Irvine Recycles Program at 949-724-7669 which can provide your school with a list of permitted recycling collection companies, collection methods, and recyclables accepted.

4. Coordinate Collection

Start a collection method by asking the custodian (or parents and teachers) to volunteer to drive the materials to a nearby recycling collection center.

5. Build a Team

Ask your students to make a team to implement the recycling program, perhaps you can integrate this into one of your lesson plans by discussing themes related to environmental concern and social action.

6. Spread the Word

Educate other students on what materials can be recycled and where the recycling bins are located throughout the school by asking your student team to spread the word.

Additional Tips:

You may want to start by collecting 2 types of materials, such as paper and aluminum cans.

Recycling can also have economic benefits if you decide to collect the California Redemption Value (CRV) reimbursement for the recycled bottles and cans. The money could be used for an end-of-the-year pizza or ice cream party, or you could host a competition between classes by tracking who recycles the most material within a school year and then rewarding the winning class.