Lodi Unified School District
Amount of paper recovered for recycling in 2009: 1,336 tons
Grades Collected: Corrugated (Cardboard) Containers, Newspapers, Magazines,
Mixed Paper, Paperboard, Kraft Bags, Office Paper, Direct Mail, Catalogs, Telephone
Books, and Food Service Trays and Boats
School District Population:
2,000 staff members
Number of Schools:
33 elementary schools
7 middle schools
6 high schools
When and why was the recycling program established?
Lodi Unified School District first started recycling as part of a state mandate made
twenty years ago. At that time California Waste Recovery Systems teamed up with
District science teachers to create a recycling and landfill curriculum for second and
fourth graders. To help educate staff and students about the importance of the new
recycling program, California Waste sent their recycling team into the schools to
promote paper recovery and recycling. This effort coincided with the kick-off of a
community-wide recycling program that included the distribution of bins to all residents.
How is the school recycling program administered?
A cooperative team effort between Lodi Unified School District staff and California
Waste Recovery Systems has helped make the recycling program a success. At the
schools, student volunteers, recycling clubs, student government officers, and custodial
staff all join forces to collect recyclable materials from the classrooms. The collected
material is them placed in an onsite recycling dumpster. At semi-annual custodial
training sessions, site personnel share best practices with each other to increase district
How are students, educators, faculty, and custodial staff educated about the
school’s recycling program?
Communication and training are critical to the success of the recycling program. The
school district and California Waste each have staff members dedicated to monitoring
the recovery of recyclables and the training colleagues and students. Students learn
what is recyclable through classroom discussions, interactive assemblies, and special
events. The district’s newsletter is another tool for educating students and promoting the
School administrators believe that for the program to be truly successful, it must: make
recycling easy and fun; educate and empower people to make a difference; measure,
monitor, and manage programs at individual schools; encourage and challenge
occupants at each site to achieve their individual goals; and celebrate success.
What partnerships have been formed to promote recycling in the school?
The school district has built relationships and formed partnerships with residents,
businesses, and local government to promote increased recycling throughout their
district. District departments such as Food Service, Purchasing, Transportation, and
Warehouse along with Maintenance & Operations have teamed up with California
Waste to research and improve how the district can recover more options to recover
recyclable materials. The same items that can be recovered for recycling at school
sites are now also collected in the residential recycling program.
Thanks to grants received from San Joaquin County Solid Waste Department, every
classroom in the district is equipped with recycling bins, school sites have received
rolling recycling carts, and students and staff are encouraged to recycle through
ongoing education and training.
How do you measure improvements in the program?
California Waste Recovery Systems and Lodi Unified School District jointly track
recovery levels at each of the district’s 50 sites. Through this reporting process, the
district measures recovery results at individual schools and identifies and assists lower
performing schools in an effort to help improve their efforts. Recently the district’s
largest high school (more than 2,000 students) went from a 27 percent diversion rate to
68 percent in less than two years as a result of the recycling education program.
How is the program's cost-effectiveness tracked?
The detailed monthly reports are also the basis for tracking and measuring trash and
recyclables collection expenses. Anytime recycling is increased at a Lodi Unified
School District site, the equivalent trash volume is reduced. The net result is a reduction
in monthly costs. When a new school or facility is opened, the recovery of recyclables
resources is automatically implemented and adjusted as recovery efforts improve. Lodi
Unified School District is now spending 20 percent less for consolidated trash and
recycling collection services than it did in 2005, despite several new schools having
opened since then.
San Joaquin County Public Works, Solid Waste Division [LINK:
Lodi Unified School District [LINK: www.lodiusd.net]
California Waste Recovery Systems [LINK: http://www.cal-waste.com/]
Andi Kutlik (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cricket Koch (email@example.com)