Zero Waste - Schools

School Programs


RecycleMore's comprehensive school recycling and classroom education program has successfully served West Contra Costa County schools for more than ten years. Our goal is to educate families through their school age children on the importance of the 4 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.  Through partnerships with other like-minded organizations we are able to offer FREE educational workshops and learning opportunities as part of their regular school experience. Some examples of these are:

•Field trips + 4R Workshops                                            
•Composting How-To Workshops                                  

 RecycleMore's school recycling program also provides assistance to school's in establishing and maintaining an on site recycling progam by working with administrators, maintenance staff, teachers and students alike.  RecycleMore offers training as well as provides recycling receptables for each classroom with the goal of reducing the amount of waste that goes to the landfill which in turn allows the district to save money by lowering its' garbage bill.

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Schools FAQs

For more information on school programs, please click here.

Classroom Workshops and Presentations

Just so you don't forget, these are some of the programs and services RecycleMore has been able to offer at NO CHARGE to our local schools:

RecycleMore offers quality programs FREE to public and private schools (K thru 12) within the West Contra Costa Unified School District service area. In 2016-2017 we had another very successful season in providing West County schools a number of activities that educate students on the 4 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot!  Providing these activities is an significant portion of RecycleMore's mission as society will depend on the the younger generations to continue to be the voice and enthusiastic supporters in protecting our environment.  

RecycleMore School Programs 

Four R's Presentation
Required before a field trip or can be a stand-alone presentation. This visual-rich presentation introduces the 4 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. Specially-designed, subject-specific presentations are available for middle and high school classes. K – 12th Grade; 

Recycling Center, Composting & Transfer Station Field Trips (prerequisite - Four R's Presentation)
Students see first-hand where the materials that go into the blue, brown, & green bins at home end up with this enlightening tour of the transfer station, composting operations center, and recycling center. 3rd – 12th Grade; 

Recycling Center Field Trips (prerequisite - Four R's Presentation)
A shorter version for younger students to see the operations of our local recycling center. 1st - 2nd Grade; 

To sign up for a field trip or classroom presentation during the school year, please contact Julio Arroyo with the school district at

To sign up for a field trip or classroom presentation during the summer, please contact our Republic Services Recycling Coordinators by email or by calling (510) 262-7518 or (510) 262-7142.

Special Programs: 

Four R's Action Program (KIDS for the BAY Elementary School Intensive) A multi-session workshop over 10 weeks with Kids for the Bay. Students learn new ways to reduce waste and conserve resources at home and at school. "The [Four Rs Action] program has made my students more aware of their actions, the difference between want and need, and the earthly limits of our natural resources." Mary Hughes-Tutass, 4th grade teacher. 

Art In the Heart
This awesome after-school reuse arts program is dedicated to the 4R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Rot).Art instructors from the East Bay depot for Creative Reuse introduce the 4R's in a fun, creative and artistic way. To learn more about Art in the Heart visit the website of The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.



Recycling at School

Want to start or improve an existing recycling program at your school? Follow these three easy steps...

Step 1. Make a Team

You can't do this alone, so get some help. The best teams have students, teachers, principals, administrative staff and parents who are all willing to help. But, even just a few dedicated people can make a big difference.

Coordinators can make sure there are bins in the right places, arrange for and oversee collection.

Outreach members

Outreach members can help spread the word and encourage recycling.


Artists can make creative signs and posters to show people how and what to recycle.


Recyclers can make sure that the bins are being used properly and empty smaller bins into larger collection bins.

Step 2. Call Your Local Service Provider

• Start with white paper and mixed paper.

• Cardboard is another easy one.

• Next you can tackle bottles and cans.

• Finally, get a worm composting bin(s) and get those leftover fruit and vegetable scraps from the cafeteria as well as any yard waste from landscaping. Worms are a lot of fun and a great educational tool.

Local Service Providers:

El Cerrito:

El Cerrito Recycling Center (510) 215-4350

For Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo and Unincorporated West County:

Republic Services (510) 262-7100

Step 3. Promote, Promote, Promote!

• Have each classroom design and decorate bins made of cardboard boxes.

• Make sure each classroom has a bin for REUSE paper (paper that's been used on only one side). You should always use both sides before recycling!

• Remind the students and staff that recycling isn't just for school they should be doing it at home too.


Sound easy? It is! Your recycling program will help:

• reduce waste
• save natural resources
• teach students a valuable lesson
• Save your school MONEY!

Need help? We'd be glad to assist you in any way we can. Call the Authority at (510) 215-3126.


Organic Recycling in Schools

The amount of food waste generated from school lunch rooms is, unfortunately, significant. Uneaten food and discarded food service packaging creates tons of waste that go into the landfill if not otherwise managed. Many school districts are implementing programs to reduce the amount of food related waste their kitchens and school lunchrooms produce.  Some school districts have their food scraps collected to be composted rather than taken directly to the landfill. Food scrap composting is an effective method of reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in our landfills.

RecycleMore is currently working with West Contra Costa Unified School District and the local collection company on developing a program that would collect food scraps generated from school lunches for composting. The compost in turn is used to enrich the soil in our gardens and parks. This is an easy example of "closing the loop" while working to preserve our natural environment, and complying with our State mandated solid waste diversion goals.


Teacher Training and Resources

Incorporate waste reduction into your curriculum! Curricula and grant funds are available as well as field trips and workshops.

Looking for some fun facts? Need more information on how to compost? Then check out the many books, videos and other resources at our local West County libraries. Both the City of Richmond and Contra Costa County libraries have tons of books on garbage, recycling and composting. Check em out!

Contra Costa County library search

City of Richmond library search

Recycling center and landfill field trips

The Authority offers a limited number of Recycling Field Trips each semester. The Field Trips include tours of West County's own recycling facility (the IRRF) and the landfill.

Worm composting workshops

With regret, we are not able to provide worm composting workshops at this time.

Curriculum resources

There are several curricula available to aid you in teaching about waste reduction, reuse and recycling. Interested in more? Ask your school librarian to get a copy for teachers at your school to share.

Authority resources

RecycleMore has a small collection of DVDs and other resources for teachers to borrow free of charge. See the complete listing by clicking on "authority resources" above.

Recycle More Video for Teachers


Media Library: