School Recycling & Waste Reduction

The following materials are not allowed in the garbage in Seattle:

  • Compostable materials, including food waste, food-soiled paper towels and napkins, pizza boxes, and yard waste
  • Recyclable materials, including paper, cardboard, plastic and glass bottles and jars, plastic and paper cups, and aluminum and tin cans.

Public Schools

A Seattle Public Schools Resource Conservation Specialist will be working with every school in the District to support their transition to mandatory composting and improve recycling.

For more information and resources, visit Seattle Public Schools or contact Rina Fa’amoe at (206) 252-0618 or

Private Schools

Private schools are eligible to receive free compost, recycling, and garbage bins, posters and stickers through SPU’s Green Business Program.

To request these free resources or ask questions about recycling and composting, please call (206) 343-8505 or email

School Training & Education

Contact the Cedar Grove Composting Education Coordinator, (206) 459-6767 for food waste program training for your school’s Green/Compost Team, staff and classrooms.

You can also contact the company that collects your food waste for onsite trainings and presentations:

  • Recology offers engaging and hands-on waste reduction, recycling and composting workshops for preschool, elementary and middle school students in Seattle. To schedule training, email or call (206) 250-7500.
  • Waste Management offers training for school Green/Compost Teams and staff. To schedule training, email

Another great education resource is the Master Composter/Soil Builder Program at Tilth Alliance. Contact or (206) 633-0451 x101 to request presentations about the importance of compost, the decomposition process and the soil food web, how to compost at home, and recycling.

Washington Green Schools provides private and public schools a free web-based certification program in six categories: Waste and Recycling; School Grounds and Gardening; Water; Healthy School Buildings; Energy; and Transportation. Green Teams implement action projects on their school campus, resulting in awards such as a Washington Green School flag.

Field Trips

Classes are invited to take a self-guided tour of the J.P. Patches Viewing Room at the South Transfer Station. The Viewing Room overlooks the tipping floor so visitors can see the station’s daily operations, and also engage with educational displays and videos.

To request a Cedar Grove Composting facility tour or to take part in educational events and summits, please send an e-mail to

Students may also enjoy visiting the Bullitt Center—the greenest commercial building in the world—to learn about a broad range of green building design strategies. Visit the University of Washington Center for Integrated Design website for information on how to schedule a private tour for your students. Regularly scheduled public tours are also available. Tour tickets are $5 per person.