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Reduce Reuse Recycle goes back to school

School recycling support
If your school recycling program needs a little "love," our school recycling program can help! Our recycling experts provide technical assistance at schools throughout Pierce County.

We start with a hands-on assessment to learn about how your school recycles. Then we can make suggestions for improvements and work with you to update materials like posters and cart stickers. This helps everyone at school know what to put into the recycling bin and what goes into the garbage.

If your school qualifies, we can also provide up to ten indoor recycling containers to help your program. 

Water bottle filling station program
What’s better than recycling? Reducing! Our water bottle filling station donation program aims to help reduce the number of single-use water bottles in schools.

The program is designed for Pierce County schools (outside of Tacoma) that have been actively working to improve recycling and reduce waste. Selected schools are expected to partner with Pierce County staff to evaluate their existing programs and work on incorporating sustainability efforts school-wide.

Schools must also be able to install and maintain the water bottle filling station.

Schools that earned water bottle filling stations this year include: Peninsula High School (Peninsula School District), Cougar Mountain Middle School (Bethel School District), and Clover Creek Elementary School (Bethel School District).

Learn more about our technical assistance for schools.

Students tour a recycling facility
Featured School 

Cougar Mountain Middle School, Bethel School District

Cougar Mountain Middle School has been hard at work on efforts to increase recycling and reduce contamination throughout the school. They have added recycling bins to each classroom, placed large recycling carts in the hallways, displayed posters above each hallway recycling container and started separating trash and liquids in their cafeteria.

Our Environmental Educators helped them do a waste sort to see exactly what was in their garbage. Their Leadership team applied for a water bottle filling station and we were happy to help them create an even greener school!

Learning Opportunities

Edible Gardens Workshop Series
Dates and locations vary
More info


The Zero Waste Gardens & Kitchen Series
Learn more and register

Take a Bite Out of Food Waste-Learn to Waste Less
October 8, 6–7:30 p.m., Puyallup

October 19, 10 a.m.–12 p.m., Sumner

Backyard Compost Tumblers 101
October 23, 6–8 p.m., Puyallup

Pacific Education Institute 
September 20, 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Free educator Training for 4th and 5th grade teachers
“Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines: Erosion and Food Waste” 

Pierce County Community Garden Tour
September 21, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $10, Bus leaves from Franklin Pierce Farm at 9 a.m.

Educators Night at the Museum
October 8, 5:30–8:00 p.m.
Learn about local resources available to enhance your classroom curriculum. Say hi to the environmental educators if you go! This year’s host is the LeMay Car Museum.
Register by Oct. 1


Educator Workshops at Tacoma Nature Center
TNC offers teacher workshops to private groups in Growing Up Wild, Project Learning Tree, Project Wild and Northwest Terrestrial Animal Families. 
More info

Thanks for reading!

We send this newsletter once per quarter.


Please let us know if there is anything you are interested in learning or sharing.

Environmental Education badge

upcycled plastic bottles
Plastic can only be recycled once.
What does it become?

Plastic bottles can be recycled into things like fleece fabric to keep you warm in our cool weather. Plastic bags that you take to the grocery store drop-off usually get made into composite lumber for decking. Other plastic containers like tubs and jugs often get turned into trash bags or other non-food holding items.

To reduce plastic in your life, consider a refillable water bottle and look for items made with recycled content.

Mother Nature Network has creative ideas for upcycled plastic containers, like the self-watering planters above.

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