Get support to start a native garden or raingarden at your school Native gardens or raingardens let rain and melted snow soak into the ground and rem

School Recycling

Get support to start a native garden or raingarden at your school

Native gardens or raingardens let rain and melted snow soak into the ground and remove pollutants in the process. They also provide wildlife habitat, help stop erosion and create beautiful landscaping.

Register to attend a free Landscaping for Clean Water Workshop to see dozens of beautiful, inspirational and affordable raingarden designs that help clean our waters and provide pollinator benefits. After attending, sign up to receive design and installation assistance and learn about financial incentives for your school.

Plate to Garden: Raise money and educate about organics composting

The organics collected at your school are taken to a large-scale compost facility that turns them into a rich soil amendment called compost. The Plate to Garden Compost Program, through the Minnesota Composting Council, is an education program and fundraiser that teaches students, staff and community members about the benefits of composting and using finished compost.

Participating schools pay a flat fee to have bulk compost and bags delivered. The community is then invited to buy the compost to raise money for the school. Students and volunteers fill the collection bags with compost during the event and talk about how food waste becomes a wonderful resource.

The program completes the loop of growing food, eating food and turning food scraps back into soil to grow food again.

Learn more and sign up your school or district to participate – it is a great way to celebrate Earth Day in April or International Compost Awareness week in May.

Take action on Earth Day

Use these helpful resources and toolkits to engage a student environmental group at your school to plan an Earth Day activity:

Grades of Green
Dem Con Green Grades
Earth Day Network
Environmental Protection Agency
Green Strides

If you are looking for additional projects or need more information, email the School Recycling Program Coordinator.

Schools in the Spotlight

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools
All Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools (District 191) started using Revolution Bag trash and recycling bin liners made from recycled plastic. Schools using the new bags have saved 25 percent on costs compared to past orders. Revolution Bags are made with more than 70 percent recycled agriculture plastic and are Ecologo certified, exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency procurement guidelines.

Nearly 20 farmers in Dakota County are participating in a program to recycle their agriculture plastic (e.g., bale and silage wrap). In the last year, more than 45,000 pounds of the plastic has been collected and recycled into Revolution Bags. By using bags made from recycled plastic, your school is helping keep Minnesota farmland clean and supporting agriculture plastic recycling programs.

Cole Papers, a local distribution company, gave a presentation on Revolution Bag at the School Recycling Workshop. Cole Papers will work with your school or district to get you started, including free samples to compare to your current bags. For more information about Revolution Bag, contact Maria McCarthy.

Plan on it

Carton 2 Garden Contest
Deadline: Monday, March 25

Green Schools Conference & Expo
April 8–9, St. Paul

Master Recycler/Composter Program
Thursdays, April 11–May 16, 6:30–9 p.m.
Scholarships are available. Contact Jenny Kedward at 952-891-7043.

Turfgrass Maintenance Class
Thursday, April 18, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Western Service Center, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley

Earth Day
Monday, April 22

International Compost Awareness Week
May 5–11

Tour de Trash
Friday, May 17, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.


Free resources are available to all schools in Dakota County, including labels, posters and student activity guides. Order yours today!

Visit School Recycling & Disposal for more information.

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