The Zero Waste Schools Program

About the Zero Waste Schools Program

“Before working with Zero Waste Marin, our efforts at diverting waste from landfill felt like a lonely uphill battle. There were regular uncertainties about proper sorting and we lacked good guidance, resources, and tools to do better.”  

“Now, thanks to their support, our ability to better educate students and to improve our overall effectiveness at diverting waste from landfill has greatly increased. And as a bonus, sorting has actually become fun and it’s inspired more teamwork and conscientiousness among students and staff alike. Zero Waste Marin has helped to make this possible and they’ve become that partner we’ve needed to encourage us to take bigger steps forward. A huge thanks to the many leaders, partners, and staff that have built this fantastic organization!

Land Wilson
Green Team Leader
Sun Valley School

The Zero Waste Schools Program works with Marin County schools to implement recycling and composting programs in order to comply with mandatory state laws. Zero Waste Marin will provide each school site with zero waste training, indoor and outdoor recycling and compost containers, custodial carts, stickers and signage, and Green Team incentives all at no charge to the school. We can also help you facilitate a tour of Marin Sanitary Service where you can see first-hand how your materials are sorted. This program will help our schools and Marin County residents save valuable resources and provide lifelong lessons to our students. Zero Waste Schools Program experts will help you take the following steps to become a certified Zero Waste School:

  • Educate and train staff, teachers, parents, and students on waste reduction
  • Form and train a student “Green Team” to lead waste sorting efforts
  • Install indoor and outdoor waste stations with signage
  • Shift the culture surrounding waste at your school
  • Reduce the amount of waste your school sends to the landfill, which may save you money!

Zero Waste Schools Program (ZWSP) Initial Year Action Plan & Timeline

Phase 1: Initial Meeting with Stakeholders

  • ZWSP overview, timeline, and walk through
  • Confirm advisory leaders & custodians
  • Green Team creation & recruitment

Phase 2: School Waste Audit

  • Conduct a waste assessment in the classroom, staff, and lunch room

Phase 3: Results Presentation

  • Present results & ZWSP overview to staff (during staff meeting)

Phase 4: Stakeholder Training

  • Staff, teacher & parent (if applicable) advisor training
  • Green Team training
  • Custodial training

Phase 5: Classroom Education

  • Individual classroom presentations (15-20 minutes) and school wide assembly

Phase 6: Infrastructure Roll-out

  • School-wide recycling bin system implementation
  • Lunch monitoring with Green Team

Phase 7: Ongoing Education

  • Green Team leads education efforts with help of ZWSP staff

Phase 8: Follow-up & Waste Audit

  • Audit and collect data
  • Identify contamination & recovery rate
  • Implement changes (if needed) and celebrate success!

Click here to download a copy of the Zero Waste Schools Program Action Plan and Timeline Zero Waste Schools Program Action Plan and Timeline.

These schools have successfully implemented the Zero Waste Schools Program!

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