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The Royal Courier

The Royal Courier

Recycling Systems in Schools

Kasey Lee

The recycling systems in schools in California are improving and showing promising results.
Although schools and universities in California generate about 562,422 tons of waste each year most of the school waste consists of organic materials such as paper, cardboard and uneaten cafeteria food. In the same way, much of the waste generated in the California education system is recyclable.
There are many laws affecting schools and local education agencies to ensure that recycling in schools remains just as much a part of it as their students.
The Mandatory Organics Recycling (MORe) requires regulated organizations to have an organic waste recycling program to separate food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, non-hazardous wood waste and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. The California Education Code encourages each school district to maintain a recycling program in all areas of the school district by recycling paper, purchasing the paper with the highest percentage of post-consumer waste, and choosing the better option which is recyclable paper. Countless strategies for each department within a school district are also listed and recommended such as district administration, facilities and planning, child nutrition and purchasing and technology services. As a plus there are also grant and funding opportunities, for instance the Clean School Bus Replacement Program which offers several financial incentives to increase the amount of clean school buses and pushes for the development of cleaner technologies.
There are also waste reduction grants for schools such as “Stop-Waste” offering many grant opportunities annually to nonprofits and businesses which aims to increase individual, business and community involvement and interaction on the cutback of waste in Alameda County. Waste prevention ideas are also heavily motivated and the list is extensive. Ideas such as allowing students to submit homework on the backside of used paper, using reusable dishware for class parties and setting up waste displays to educate students and faculty.
Contentedly, there are also award and recognition programs that recognize outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards. They honor, support and encourage those educators that incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and in their teaching methods and practices; that they recognize its importance for the entire world.

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About the Contributors
Estephanie Lopez
Estephanie Lopez, Staff Writer
Kasey Lee
Kasey Lee, Features & Sports Editor
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