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 resources on this page will show you how to create an effective recycling and composting program, educate key stakeholders such as staff and parents, and save money in the process.
Enhanced School Recycling & Organics Program
Dakota County offers free containers, labels, onsite technical assistance and education to help divert more recyclables and organics (e.g., food waste, paper towels, etc.) from schools.
In exchange, schools agree to work on recycling and organics collection implementation with the County and the school’s waste hauler, properly educate staff and students, provide data assessing the impact of the program, and maintain the program after assistance is completed. This assistance is available to all K-12 public or private schools within Dakota County.
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 application period begins for the next session.