Be a Student of Recycling!

Back to School 2021

Heading back to school soon? Before you go supply shopping, go green! Assess what supplies from last year can be reused, reduced, and recycled. Simple fixes like stitching, washing or gluing can extend the life of apparel and supplies. Take a moment to scour your junk drawers for school-related discoveries like unused glue sticks, pens and, pencils. In addition to understanding what can be reused, reduced, and recycled at home, help kids become environmental stewards at school. Talk to them about ways to help the earth wherever they are by understanding day-to-day recycling best practices.

Check out our waste reduction back-to-school tips:

Reuse or Repair

  • Backpacks and pencil holders can be reused and repaired.
  • Coats and school-branded apparel can look good as new with repairs.
  • Supplies including pens, pencils, erasers, and paper can easily be reused.
  • Reuse textbooks by sharing with younger students or siblings.


  • Pack a lunch or snacks in reusable containers.
  • Take only what they need from the lunch line, reducing food waste.
  • Follow classroom lists closely and only buy what your child needs.


  • Purchase smart and buy recycled items and/or items that are sold with minimal packaging.
  • Send kids to school with reusable water bottles or ensure they’re recycling single-use drink containers.
  • Educate kids on recycling cans and bottles and find out what recycling options the school offers.
  • When going through last year’s items to see what’s reusable or recyclable, dispose of e-waste and old batteries properly at designated drop-off points (not in the recycle bin!). Click here for details on Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers.

We’re thrilled to welcome you and the kids in your life to be a student of recycling! If you’re curious about Orange County’s landfills, check out the Anatomy of a Landfill and shake off your summer rust by taking the Anatomy of a Landfill Quiz. You can also find insider info by watching our video, OC Landfills: The Inside Story.

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