Participating Schools

This page is for participating schools in the Washtenaw County School Recycling Program. It contains information about program requirements, the reporting and reimbursement process for single-stream recycling costs, accepted recyclable materials, and more.

How the Program Works

The primary goals of the Washtenaw County School Recycling Program are to increase recycling rates at K12 schools and to build a culture of recycling among students and school staff that is carried with them into the larger community. Participating schools have recycling collection services through Waste Management and recycling education programming through the Ecology Center.

  • School districts work directly with Waste Management to coordinate collection services.
  • Waste Management provides trash dumpsters and cardboard dumpsters to the schools. 
  • Washtenaw County provides 96-gallon blue recycling carts for the collection of all other recyclables besides cardboard (paper, plastic containers, metal containers, and glass containers) to the schools.
  • School districts can be reimbursed for the recycling cart services by Washtenaw County if schools complete education minimum requirements.
  • Schools coordinate with the Ecology Center to schedule recycling education programs.
Dexter school recycling - kids with carts Cornerstone

Program Requirements

The following must be completed by every school each school year for participation in the program:

  1. Participate in a School Recycling Kick-Off Meeting no later than October 1 of each school year. At a minimum, the lead education liaison (or an alternate) shall attend this meeting. It is preferred that at least one representative from the faculty, administration, kitchen staff, and custodial services be in attendance. Click here for the 2023 School Recycling Kick-Off Meeting Sign-Up Form.
  2. At a minimum, five data samples for the trash, cardboard, and recycling carts will be taken each school year. Click here to download the School Recycling Program Data Tracking Form. This data will be used to estimate each school's Recycling Diversion Rate, which is the amount of material that the school has diverted from the landfill through recycling. This is a great way to track progress over time and share data with your school community!
  3. Recycling guidelines posters provided by Washtenaw County will be paired with each recycling bin in the school.

Recycling Education Programs

The Ecology Center delivers student education programs and staff training at no cost to participating schools. There are many options for schools including Green Team Trainings, assemblies, and classroom workshops.

Schools can request education programs from the Ecology Center by filling out this online form: School Recycling Education Registration Form (2023-24 SY)


 Click to view Elementary Programs                                     Click to view Middle/High School Programs

Education Minimum Requirements

Washtenaw County will reimburse the school district for the recycling cart services if educational minimums are completed according to the following chart:

Percentage of Recycling Cart Services Reimbursed if Fulfilled by the School
Target Audience
Options for Fulling the Minimum Education Requirements
Complete a staff training before December of each school year. Staff training includes a presentation with a question-and-answer session, with the educational services contractor or Washtenaw County. These typically occur at an existing school staff meeting and take approximately 15 minutes.


ELEMENTARY LEVEL Choose one of the following:
  • Choose one grade level at the school to participate in a classroom workshop of your choice
  • Grade-level assemblies (one assembly per grade level) AND a Green Team Training
  • Other item proposed by the school, with prior approval from Washtenaw County

MIDDLE/HIGH LEVEL Choose one of the following:

  • Choose one grade level at the school to participate in a classroom workshop of your choice
  • Whole school assembly
  • Green Team Training and share findings with the whole school
  • A grade-level assignment to research the incoming material to the school (office or cafeteria setting) and identify ways to reduce environmental impact. Share these findings with the school or district administration.
  • Other item proposed by the school, with prior approval from Washtenaw County.

Reporting and Reimbursement

Once schools have completed the core program requirements and the education minimum requirements, they may request reimbursement for the blue recycling cart services. Washtenaw County will already have the recycling cart services costs from the hauler and the log of education programs completed at each school from the education contractor. 

Schools must submit a request for reimbursement that includes an invoice for the reimbursable amount. Invoices may be submitted twice a year, once in January and once in June. If some schools in the district have completed the requirements and others haven't, partial reimbursement is available. Click here to view your district's progress on meeting program and education requirements.

A form to request reimbursement will be added here soon!

School Recycling Resources

  1. Recycling Guidelines Poster
  2. Yes/No Recycle List for School Materials
  3. other recycling & education resources

Washtenaw County provides recycling guidelines posters to schools to be paired with each recycling bin. Contact [email protected] if your school needs additional posters delivered.