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Flex Your Power!
 The Division of the State Architect's Sustainable Schools Resource
Materials » Recycling Infrastructure


Recycling Infrastructure

Photo of 'trash post' where 3 containers for different types of trash are situated with a pot of flowers nearby;  photo's caption, 'Increasing the availability of recycling services encourages the practice of recycling in the vicinity.

When planning a new school, it is important to incorporate infrastructure that will promote recycling on campus in such a way that it is used by students, teachers, support staff, and administrators in perpetuity. Installing recycling bins around each trashcan will encourage students and faculty to recycle. Recycling bins that are both well integrated into the project and are easy to use will demonstrate to students the school's commitment to recycling. Incorporating a centralized recycling area for the storage of recyclables on campus will aid janitorial staff to efficiently and easily recycle. It is important to get custodial staff input about the recycling collection system before implementation, to both increase staff buy-in as well as to trouble shoot potential problems in its use. These strategies will reduce the cost of operations, both by reducing waste destined for the landfill, and by reducing the complications of recycling.

Featured Resources

California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) - School Waste Reduction
CIWMB's informative resource on the implementation of a waste management program in schools.

California Integrated Waste Management Board - Recycling Space Allocation Guide
Appendix A to this guide provides a model local ordinance on recycling areas dedicated to the collection of recyclable materials. This guide was developed to assist local agencies in developing a recycling space allocation ordinance.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Wastewise
Wastewise is the U.S. EPA's comprehensive site on waste reduction and resource conservation. The site has links to many resources and further topics regarding waste.

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