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Recycling at School

StopWaste provides services to public schools in all 17 Alameda County School Districts. If you are ready to reduce the amount of waste your school creates, we are ready to help you! 

For a successful recycling and waste reduction program, you will need to consider both social infrastructure - the people and policies needed to start your program – and physical infrastructure – the materials needed to implement and maintain your program. For questions and support, contact us at schools@stopwaste.org and sign up for our StopWaste at School E-News.


SB 1383 - New Compost and Recycling Law

To help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, California state law SB 1383 will go into effect on January 1, 2022. The new law requires schools to keep compostable and recyclable material out of landfills. 

There are four main steps that school districts must take to comply with the new law:

  1. If you aren't already subscribed, sign up your district facilities and schools for compost and recycling service by January 1, 2022.
  2. Place color-coded and labeled recycle and compost bins next to all garbage bins (not required in restrooms). 
  3. Sort materials into the proper bins - recycle, compost, and garbage. 
  4. Educate students and employees about proper sorting and check bins periodically to ensure proper sorting. 

Food Recovery and Donation: In addition to sorting requirements, by January 1, 2024, schools must recover and donate their surplus edible food to feed people. Schools will be required to have an agreement with a food recovery organization that can accept their surplus edible food. Find more information about StopWaste resources for food waste prevention and food recovery - Food Waste Prevention at School

For California public schools, the new state law will be implemented and enforced by CalRecycle, in partnership with local haulers, StopWaste, and the Alameda County Environmental Health Department. 

For more information on SB 1383, visit www.CalRecycle.ca.gov/organics/SLCP/schools.

Private schools can find recycling support materials and services at www.StopWaste.org/rules.


School Recycling Resources

StopWaste has developed tools and resources to address both social and physical infrastructure that supports a successful recycling and composting program at your school. Resources include signage, cafeteria guides, how-to videos and more!

View Resources

Anchor Schools

In an effort to amplify our work countywide, StopWaste looks for at least one school from each of the 17 school districts to become the model StopWaste School for that 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.  

Learn More about Anchor Schools

Priority School Districts

With food waste the number one category in the landfill, StopWaste Priority School District Partners acknowledge their commitment to recycling, composting and food waste prevention by passing school board resolutions prioritizing 3-stream sorting and onboarding to our Smart Cafeteria Initiative. StopWaste Priority School Districts are eligible for StopWaste’s environmental education services and technical assistance.  

More Information

StopWaste Advisory Group in Education 

To further support environmental education and successful school recycling programs throughout Alameda County, StopWaste has formed the StopWaste Advisory Group in Education (SAGE). SAGE meets regularly to problem solve and develop tools and resources to support waste reduction education throughout the County. Currently the members of the SAGE Group include StopWaste Schools Team Staff, Altamont Education Advisory Committee Members, Teachers & Educators, District Recycling Coordinators, and Sustainability Consultants. SAGE invites additional stakeholders and school champions as needed, depending on the topics of discussion. If you have any questions about the work of SAGE, contact us at schools@stopwaste.org.