Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recycling is a way of life at San Diego Unified... and saves taxpayers money

Did you know the majority of waste generated in classrooms and even lunch courts is recyclable or can be turned into compost, saving taxpayers $34,000 a month? As the nation celebrates America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, San Diego Unified students are taking the lead in recycling by participating in campus environmental clubs, Green Teams, Planet Protectors clubs, student body recycling efforts, and more.
Recycling at Ocean Beach Elementary

These recycling ambassadors encourage students and staff at their school to recycle paper, cardboard, beverage containers, rigid plastics, metal, and more. All recyclables can be mixed together in the recycling bins on campus.

Some schools have even set a goal to create “Zero Waste” and are composting lunch and cafeteria scraps in their school garden! Through these efforts, the district is able to divert more than 240 tons of material per month from landfill disposal when school is in session. That saves our district and taxpayers more than $34,000 per month in disposal costs, not to mention saving valuable resources.

When students and staff recycle and compost at school and at home, it means that industry doesn’t have to chop down, extract or mine to collect more raw materials for making the things we use every day.
San Diego Unified doesn’t stop there when it comes to waste diversion. In addition to the mixed recycling program available at schools and district offices, programs are in place for diverting scrap metal, wood waste, pallets, landscape waste, construction and demolition debris, electronics, and shredded documents. District batteries and fluorescent lamps (universal waste) are also recycled and disposed of properly.

For more information about America Recycles Day, check out For information and resources for recycling at your school, please visit the district’s recycling website at or contact Janet Whited, recycling specialist, auxiliary services, at 858-637-6268 or