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Reuse, Recycling & Waste Reduction

For Schools

Every day, Minnesota public schools generate an estimated 500,000 pounds of waste — with nearly 80 percent of it recyclable or compostable. A common misconception is that recyclables in the trash are sorted out at the facility.  Without a recycling program in place, all recyclables in the trash end up in landfills or incinerators. Recycling and composting waste from all schools makes sense – financially, environmentally and socially.

Starting or improving a recycling and composting program is a wonderful way to engage students in scientific inquiry, demonstrate the importance of a healthy environment, and educate about waste reduction and recycling. The Dakota County School Recycling & Organics Program complements many internal recycling initiatives such as green teams or student councils, and may help schools reduce hauling costs when waste is shifted from trash to less expensive and more environmentally-beneficial recycling options.

​The resources on this page will show you how to create an effective recycling and composting program; educate key stakeholders such as staff, students and parents; and potentially save money in the process.

School Recycling & Organics Program
Dakota County's School Recycling & Organics Program provides free containers, labels, educational resources and on-site assistance designed to capture more recyclables (e.g., paper cartons, plastic bottles) and organics (e.g., food waste, paper towels) from schools. This assistance is available to all K-12 public or private schools within Dakota County.  The majority of the assistance activities are provided by County staff or its consultant, partnering with an individual school liaison and student clubs.

If you are interested in assistance for your district or school, please contact the Dakota County school recycling program coordinator  at 952-891-7552. You will be placed on the waiting list to be notified when the request for assistance period begins for the next session.

Free labels available to all Dakota County schools
You do not need to participate in the School Recycling & Organics Program to receive free labels. Contact the Dakota County​ school recycling program coordinator at 952-891-7552.









Last updated: 4/20/2016 4:25 AM