The fact that solid waste in schools is fast increasing cannot be overemphasized. This is attributed to the increased population in schools. If you are a school manager or a city-county waste management coordinator, discover simple yet effective procedures for waste management in school.

Teachers and students can also be part of these approaches to rid their environment of undesirable waste. After all, many states require that all schools manage their solid waste efficiently.

Waste composition in US schools

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Why is Solid Waste Management Required in School?

Starting in July 2012, the state of California demands that schools and institutions that produce more than four cubic yards of waste must implement recycling strategies. This requirement seeks to divert commercial waste into the state’s expanding recycling plan. The general objective is to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

To comply with the law, you can take advantage of three solid waste management options. The first is a self-haul system while the second is a subscription to hauliers to do the job for you. The other option involves entering into an arrangement where a company picks up all recyclable material at your institution.

What are the Regulations for the Solid Waste Management in California?

  • Public Resources Code- sections 42620 to 42622
  • California Integrated Waste Management Act
  • Senate Bill 373
  • California Education Code – sections 3170 to 3276

The above regulations recommend schools manage solid waste by –

  1. Buying recycled paper
  2. Revisiting specifications on procurement to eradicate the bias against recycled paper
  3. Buying paper with the biggest postconsumer waste
  4. Stop buying paper that is deemed a potential contaminant

Why is Solid Waste Management in School Important?

Educational institutions in California alone account for 562-442 tons of waste every year. If unchecked, the trend can cause unprecedented damage to the environment and a huge threat to people’s health. While the statistics present a worrying loss of nature’s resources, you can play a pivotal role in reducing the effects.

You can start by enforcing a stringent waste reduction approach. In addition, let your school review its daily operations. Evaluate the educational, environmental, and socio-economic benefits of waste reduction. When you implement an effective approach, your students will learn environment-based lessons at the recycling plant.

Importance of proper waste disposal in school:

  • Reduced costs of disposing of solid waste
  • Increased safety and health of students and staff
  • Diminished liability and costs of purchasing materials
  • The improved general efficiency of the school expenditure

Educational institutes produce a variety of waste that can be reused, reduced, or recycled. Paper from books and used notes, food waste from the cafeteria, cardboard used in projects, you name it!

All these materials, whicha can be disposed of responsibly, normally end up in the garbage dump instead. Being institutions that impart knowledge, educating students about the environmental impacts of dumping or wasting garbage should be one of the primary areas of focus for schools everywhere.

Importance of Solid Waste Management in School

10 Simple Ways To Recycle At School And Reduce Waste

Here are 10 tips you can implement to make your educational organization an exemplary, and sustainable, institution of knowledge:

  1. Can’t Use It? Donate It

    Once equipment and supplies have reached the end of their life, donate them to charitable organizations that can re-use them. This reduces waste, and you can give back more to the community by promoting ‘back to school’, as well as go-green ventures.

  2. Composting

    The cafeteria needs to cater to worst-case scenarios while deciding on food quantity, which normally means lots of leftovers. Dump them in a compost bin and use the compost to encourage organic gardening or even a grow-your-own-greens project.

  3. Compactors

    If composting is too much of a hassle, install stainless-steel compactors to reduce the volume of organic waste and dispose of it responsibly by taking it to a composting center.

  4. Team It Up

    Get students and teachers involved by encouraging them to work together towards a recycling goal, and teach them the finer points of teamwork at the same time.

  5. Programs

    Increasing awareness is a matter of empowering people with knowledge, and nobody is in a better position to achieve this monumental task than an educational organization.

  6. Modernize

    Set an example by taking the first step; Go paperless! It reduces costs, increases awareness, and, best of all, your students will be better prepared for today’s digital world.

  7. Balers

    You might be wondering how you can manage huge volumes of paper and cardboard without increasing your labor costs. Well, smaller balers can be operated by a single employee, as a janitor, without any significant increase in billable hours.

  8. Recycling Facilities

    If your mind is busy raking up the additional expenses associated with recycling, think again. You can build a relationship with your local waste disposal facilities. More than likely, they will either pay you for processed waste on recycling service or even bear the costs themselves.

  9. Waste Reduction

    A simple way of going green and encouraging your students to join in, without adding to expenses, is to reduce the amount of waste in the first place. Automatic compactors in high-traffic areas make disposal simpler and much cheaper to implement.

  10. Recycling Programs

    Start interactive programs that get all the members involved. Many buy-back recycling programs can raise funds, as well as promote community awareness.

Responsible management of garbage comes down to one major factor- educating people, and no organization is better placed to accomplish this than an institution that functions to impart knowledge!

15 Enjoyable & Exciting Sustainability Activities for Kids

Did the thought of teaching sustainability to your kids ever occur to you? If not, then it’s time for you to think in that direction. Looking at the environmental hazards and climate change that the world is facing right now, it’s vital to imbibe the sense of maintaining a clean and green environment in our future generations.
But how to do that? Following is the list of 15 fun and engaging sustainability activities for kids. Hopefully, you and your kids will enjoy doing these activities together!

  1. Bifurcation of Trash

    Teach your kids to separate the trash based on recyclable and compostable waste. Label the bins accordingly and make it like a puzzle or game. You can keep scores and give some small rewards to keep their interest alive.

  2. Clear Trash From Neighborhood

    Kids will realize the importance of clean surroundings by cleaning the garbage in the neighborhood. They don’t need to do that dedicatedly. Tell them that whenever they see littering of wrappers or trash cans anywhere, they should pick them up and dump them in the bin.

  3. Tell Them the Story of 3 R’s

    Tell your kids about the 3 R’s, i.e., “reduce reuse & recycle,” as a story or a song. If your kids know about recycling, reducing trash, and reusable materials from an early age, they will be an asset to our planet when they grow up.

  4. Gift Them Sustainability Books

    You will achieve 2 goals by gifting sustainability storybooks to your kids. First, they will develop a reading habit. Secondly, they will learn about various innovative ways to be eco-friendly. Some of these books contain exciting stories and illustrations.

  5. Shopping From the Local Market

    When you shop locally, you save the environment from habitat loss and pollution. Introduce this concept to your kids via a flow chart or diagram. Teach them how much they can contribute to the economy and sustainability by shopping from the local market.

  6. Do Gardening With Your Kids

    Kids realize collective existence through gardening. Indeed, they will enjoy playing with green plants, clay pots, and black soil. Make a small or big garden with your kids and watch them get closer to nature every day.

  7. Create a Green Home

    You can take pride in living in an eco-friendly apartment by making small changes here and there. Replace your fluorescent light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs. You can also get a low-flow showerhead. Don’t forget to keep your kids involved while making these changes.

  8. Plan Volunteering Weekends

    It’s common to plan a beach picnic on weekends with family. You can include a beach clean-up exercise along with your picnic once in a while. You can also opt for park maintenance with your family in the holidays. These weekend sustainability activities will keep kids excited and entertained.

  9. Engage in Recyclable Crafting

    You must’ve heard about the best from waste art. Create a piece of art with your kids from reusable materials or things that can be recycled, such as bottle caps, empty boxes, shopping bags, paper towel rolls, etc.

  10. Ask Them to Save Water

    Explain to your kids that they can contribute to saving water by not keeping the water flowing while brushing or not taking long showers. Educating them about water with the help of pictures and videos is one of the most effective sustainability activities for kids.

  11. Explain the Concept of Carbon Footprint

    Tell kids about how greenhouse gases are generated by simply driving a vehicle and using a thermostat. Ask them to come up with ways on how they can control it and become more eco-friendly. You can also calculate the carbon footprint of your family online.

  12. Preserve Rain Water

    Kids are happiest when the rain starts. They often want to play in the rain. Give them the purpose of filling buckets and containers to collect rainwater. This water can later be used for household work and watering plants.

  13. Recycle Paper

    According to the Global Forest Resource Assessment, approximately 80,000 to 160,000 trees are cut down daily worldwide. Most of them are used in the paper industry. Ask kids to make their paper with waste paper pulp. You can find the method of recycling paper online, or you can enrol them in a class. It will increase awareness about the importance of recycling among kids.

  14. Build a Small Worm Farm

    While most grownups don’t like the sight of worms, kids love them. They want to touch them and see how they move. You can create a worm farm with your kids in your garden, backyard, or a small planter. This eco-friendly activity will teach kids to take care of the environment.

  15. Take a Walk in Nature

    Go for a walk in the garden or take a hike in the forest with your kids. Going outdoors and exploring nature is the best way to make your kids love the clean and green environment. They will always try to maintain greenery and eliminate trash from their surroundings.