Schools are an ideal place to implement the four R’s (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Classrooms and lunchrooms produce large amounts of preventable waste such as paper and unwanted food. Collectively, kids can make a big difference by taking part in a waste reduction program. In a best-case scenario, children will not only be green at school, but also bring their good habits home and practice them for a lifetime.

SLO County students learn to recycle every day at school in recycling bins placed throughout our campuses, but there are many ways a school can step up its green routine:


Bring in the experts from IWMA’s school education program. Our recycling educators offer multiple in-class K-12 programs correlated with California Science Content Standards. All programming is free of charge.


Take a fieldtrip to the Cold Canyon Landfill and Recycling Facility where students will see firsthand how their recyclables are processed and visit the interactive recycling education center. Bus cost is paid for by IWMA.


Learn teaching tips from a local green guru, Oceano Elementary teacher Jim Dececco. Check out his successful school programs and how you can implement them.


Add recycling to your own curriculum with our K-12 teacher resources.


Start a compost program for food and green waste with IWMA’s help


Conduct a classroom waste audit to find out how much material your classroom or school is sending to the landfill. Follow these Classroom Waste Audit instructions. 


Get parents involved by encouraging them to shop wisely for back-to-school items and pack waste-free lunches


Compete for an Eco-School Award in the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools Program.