School Resources and Presentations

Man giving presentation at a schoolWe offer resources and assistance to help your school set and meet recycling and waste reduction goals. Our work is in partnership with the Clackamas County Refuse and Recycling Association. Explore our resources below.

Contact: Laurel Bates, Waste Reduction Education Coordinator, at lbates@clackamas.us   

Classroom Presentations

We provide engaging and hands-on presentations in K-12 classrooms. If you do not see a presentation you are looking for, please contact us.

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Students explore composting with worms and the entire worm bin ecosystem as they engage in hands-on experiments and observation. 

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Students follow the journey of trash from our homes and schools to the landfill. Emphasis on reduction, reuse, recycling and steps towards sustainability. 

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Approximately 40% of the food grown in the United States for consumption is thrown away, and much of that waste is preventable. In this engaging multimedia presentation, students will explore the causes and consequences of food waste and problem-solve solutions to make a real difference. 

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Explore the problem of climate change, what people are doing about it, and why it’s not too late to make a difference. Emphasis on using your voice to engage with peers and adults about issues that matter. 

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Students examine the contents of the garbage and recycling bins in each classroom to determine which items are commonly misplaced in each bin. After the audit, students provide suggestions to specific classrooms to improve their garbage and recycling system. 

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This activity provides an opportunity for every student in the school to participate! Instead of throwing lunch trash away, each student sorts their own trash into designated categories (Food, Liquid, Recyclables, and Trash) to learn about what is being thrown away. After lunch, a smaller group of students collect weight and volume measurements of each category, which can be shared with the whole school. 

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Students explore their school after it closes for the day to determine how much energy is being wasted due to computers monitors, copy machines and other equipment is being left on at night and during weekends. By the end of the audit, students know how much energy and money are being wasted and the environmental impacts of this wasted energy. 

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Mini-Grants For School Waste Reduction Projects

Clackamas County provides small grants to schools to help meet waste reduction goals. Examples of past grant projects include:

  • Replacing disposable items used in school meal service: School meal service can generate a significant amount of waste. Switching to washable items like trays, plates, silverware, and cups can be a great way to reduce waste.
  • Purchasing party kits to reduce party waste: Teachers report that classroom party kits reduce waste by a minimum of one large trash bag per classroom party. 
  • Installing a water bottle filling station: Reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles by installing a convenient water bottle filling station. 
  • Support a school’s composting program: Some schools collect fruit and vegetable scraps to compost on-site. Our grant can help purchase items like compost tumblers and collection containers. 
  • And more: Share your idea with us!

Free Resources

Educational posters for the classroom, office, and cafeteria

Make sure everyone in your building knows what to do with their recyclable, compostable, and disposable items. These posters can support your school’s waste reduction program.

Free recycling and composting bins 

Recycling collection in kitchens or copy rooms

Bottle and can collection in cafeterias or common areas

Bottle and can collection in cafeterias or common areas

Paper recycling for classrooms and offices

Food scraps collection in cafeterias

Food scraps collection in kitchens

Workbooks and Guides

An Apple isn’t just an Apple
Educational activity book about food and food waste. Best for grades 2-3.

Una Manzana no es solo una Manzana
Educational activity book about food and food waste in Spanish. Best for grades 2-3.

Oregon School Food Share Program Guide
A step-by-step guide to measure and reduce wasted food through a School Food Share Program.

Certify As An Oregon Green School

Oregon Green Schools logo

Clackamas County is a partner of Oregon Green Schools, a statewide organization that celebrates and supports school sustainability. For a list of certified schools, visit the OGS site.

Certification tracks: We will support you in the stage of s

  • Waste and Recycling
  • Green Lunchrooms
  • Walk and Roll to School
  • Garden and Grounds
  • Energy Conservation
  • Waste Water and Wetlands

Reduce Wasted Food At School

Compost food scraps at school

Some schools in Clackamas County are eligible to collect compostable food scraps through a commercial composting program. Other schools may consider a small garden composting program. Whatever your needs, we are here to help. Contact us for assistance. 

Milk dispensers 

Since 2017, Clackamas County has been helping schools transition from disposable milk cartons to using milk dispensers with a washable cup for milk service. This transition has saved thousands of gallons of milk and prevented hundreds of thousands of cartons from ending up in the landfill.

Phone:503-557-6363
Email:wasteinfo@clackamas.us

Administrative office | 150 Beavercreek Road Oregon City, OR 97045

Office Hours:

Monday to Thursday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Se habla español

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