Education and School Waste Reduction Programs

School Instruction

California Education and the Environment Initiative Logo

California EEI: Landmark K-12 Curriculum Teaches Academic Standards and More…

The Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) curriculum teaches select K-12 California academic content standards in Science and History-Social Science, using the environment as a context for learning. This engaging curriculum is designed to increase environmental literacy, and help students become critical thinkers, informed decision makers, and leaders for the future.

Teachers can Use the EEI curriculum to:

  • Engage students in topics that matter to them–the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat.
  • Cultivate students’ understanding of their relationship with the environment.
  • Make learning relevant and fun!
  • Prepare students to be critical thinkers and 21st century problem solvers.
  • Encourage students to be responsible stewards of the earth.
  • Teach History-Social Science and Science while supporting California Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

Office of Education and the Environment staff are your contact for all California Education and the Environment (EEI) curriculum and environmental education resources and related questions.

School Operation

Reduce at Home

Resources for School Facilities: Waste Reduction and Recycling Help for Your District

Recycling at your school not only makes good environmental and economic sense, but in most cases it is also required. California schools that generate four or more cubic yards of trash a week are required to recycle, and those that generate 2 or more cubic yards per week of solid waste, recyclables, and organics are also required to recycle their organic waste. Starting July 1, 2020, schools and school districts affected by these laws must provide organics and recycling containers for students and staff to collect waste generated from products purchased and consumed on-site.

Schools and other public entities can take one or any combination of the following in order to reuse, recycle, compost or otherwise divert solid waste from disposal:

  • Self-haul.
  • Subscribe to a hauler(s).
  • Arrange for pickup of recyclables.
  • Subscribe to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.

Learn how starting or expanding recycling and waste reduction programs at your school or school district makes economic sense, promotes environmental stewardship, and assists in meeting state recycling and solid waste mandates.

CalRecycle local assistance staff are also available for your inquiries about waste reduction, including setting up recycling programs, identifying local resources, and more.

Environmental Education Resources

Sustainability Degrees

Learn more about sustainability careers that design the world’s environmental solutions, create socially responsible public policy, and develop environmentally conscious businesses. The Sustainability Degrees website offers information about clean energy, clean technology, sustainable business, and green business careers and details about the types of degrees you can study in preparation.

Important Past Initiatives

  • School DEEL. The School Diversion and Environmental Education Law (DEEL), formerly referred to as Senate Bill 373 (Torlakson, Chapter 926, Statutes of 2001), created a series of integrated waste management and environmental education mandates for the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle).
  • SEE Program. The School Energy Efficiency (SEE) Program provided a variety of energy education resources and facility improvement services free of charge to school districts located in the several California counties. The program components included learning activities designed to educate students, teachers, and school officials about energy efficiency as well as school facility improvement services.

For more information contact, the Office of Public Affairs,