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StopWaste at School

StopWaste works with students, teachers, and school district staff across Alameda County to become leaders in waste prevention and proper recycling and composting at school.

When students take action in waste reduction at school, it opens up a world of learning opportunities about real environmental issues and the impacts every day decisions can have at school and at home. StopWaste offers food waste reduction programs through its Stop Food Waste challenge and food share and donation program, as well as composting and recycling services to help school districts in Alameda County waste less food, cut costs, operate more efficiently, and keep valuable materials out of landfills. We also have resources to help students learn the 4Rs—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost, that is).

For activities and lessons, see our curriculum and videos.

School Program Overview

Food Waste Prevention at School

StopWaste supports students and staff to ensure that edible food isn’t wasted through a food share and donation program. The K-12 Smart Cafeteria Initiative allows students to share uneaten sealed food or unbitten whole fruit in the school cafeteria by establishing food share tables, then donating surplus food at the end of meal service to feed people in need.

See additional resources below to learn more. You can also contact us for more information. 

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4th Grade: Field trips to the StopWaste Education Center

Students can learn first-hand what happens to their recyclables, compostables and garbage at a materials recovery facility and transfer station. Free bus transportation provided to Alameda County public schools. 

Questions? Contact Cristian Aguilar (510) 891-6532 

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4-6th Grade Classrooms: 4Rs Student Action Projects

Bring academic fun and the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost) into the classroom. Students engage in project-based learning and develop skills to make a difference in their school and their community. StopWaste educators visit the classroom and facilitate a three-part series of two-hour lessons.

Questions? Contact Arielle Conway (510) 891-6537 

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Middle & High School: StopWaste Ambassador Program (SWAP)

SWAP offers a range of services to help advance environmental education and leadership in Alameda County middle and high schools. StopWaste can provide teacher training, Green Team Action Project Kits, educator stipends, and technical assistance in supporting your students to take action at school and at home.

Questions? Contact Angelina Vergara (510) 891-6520


Anchor Schools

In an effort to amplify our work countywide, we are currently accepting applications for at least one school to become the model StopWaste school for their district. StopWaste Anchor Schools are committed to educating students to apply their academics in action-based project learning to stop waste at home, at school, and in their community. Anchor schools commit to planning hours to take action with StopWaste educators and will be given priority for StopWaste educator project support and StopWaste resources. To be eligible to become an anchor school, your school needs to have participated in a StopWaste Schools program within the last three years, and have one lead administrator, teacher or club leader as a main liaison. To apply to be a StopWaste Anchor School, apply here.

Priority School Districts

In Alameda County, a number of school districts have declared a commitment to reducing the amount of readily recyclable and compostable materials to less than 10% of trash sent to the landfill by the year 2020. These districts are eligible for priority registration and technical assistance from our Schools Program. For the 18-19 school year, we are also looking for new district partners to support our food waste reduction school programs. If you’re interested in becoming a priority district, e-mail