The City of Spokane's Solid Waste Collection and Disposal departments offer a variety of educational services. Due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19, lessons and activities can be provided virtually as well as in-person. Our education staff is also developing kits that teachers and families can check out to learn more about reducing waste from home or in the classroom.
Solid waste educators are available to make environmental education easy. Staff provides materials and presentations on waste reduction and recycling. Each presentation is about an hour long and can be tailored to specific grade levels. Can't have us come to your school? No problem! We can present virtually too, using a combination of illustrated talks, show and tell, and engaging Q & A sessions.
Students make their own piece of paper from scraps out of your recycling bin. If we can't lead the activity, you can check out a kit and lead the hands-on activity yourself. We loan you the blender and provide directions, your students get the experience!
Students learn composting science and explore "wildlife," i.e. worms that can eat our garbage. We may not be able to bring the worms to you in person, but we can share all the information you need to know about these little invertebrates. We can even tell you where to find your own worms outdoors and send your students on a scavenger hunt to find other decomposing critters!
Students discuss choices that can be made to use fewer resources and have less garbage after lunch. Want to conduct a waste audit or your school, classroom, or cafeteria? We’ve got you covered. Check out our NEW Waste Audit Kit and see what you are throwing away so you can make positive changes. The kit includes a tarp, aprons, a scale and instructions. Combine this activity with math and calculate percentages and build graphs of your findings.
Presenters use visual aids of various media, hands-on activities, games, and take-home materials to help students enjoy and retain what they have learned.
Staff members are available to help establish or enhance your school recycling or composting program. They will meet with you on-site or virtually to figure out the best approach for your school.
Want to combine waste reduction lessons with art? We sponsor a poster contest each fall for students in grades K-8. Artwork is based on an annual recycling theme. Student finalists have their work displayed in River Park Square leading up to America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. Seventeen students get their art printed in a special calendar that teaches others to be better recyclers. Call 509.625.6580 for more information.
Kids in grades K-6 can join this FREE club. Learn how to take care of the environment from regional partners like the City's Solid Waste and Water Departments. Get quarterly newsletters with loads of activities and information. Conduct experiments and complete challenges to earn points towards special prizes.
Washington Green Schools is now EarthGen. EarthGen is a science-based, action-oriented program that equips young people with essential knowledge, skills, and experience to become leaders for a better future. Learn more at https://earthgenwa.org.
EWRSEF provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to showcase their research projects in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. For additional information, please visit their website.
Our experts are available to meet with teachers and/or students to share curriculum and show how to set up school recycling programs. To schedule any of the above services, contact Kris Major at 509.625.6521. Virtual meetings are also welcomed!
Want to learn where your garbage goes or how to reduce waste through home composting? Free online classes are now available on the city's Learning Management System, LearnWorlds, at www.spokanecity.org/wastereductionclasses. Instruction is meant to be short, informative and self-paced. New classes are added regularly so check back often.
Tours of the Waste to Energy facility, 2900 S. Geiger Blvd. Due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19, in-person tours of the facility cannot scheduled at this time. Virtual presentations are available or check out our tour video on the WTE page.
You may arrange for a speaker from the City of Spokane's Solid Waste departments to visit your classroom or business. Topics include how to improve waste reduction practices, increase your recycling programs, and divert organics into a composting program. Need a presenter for a virtual meeting? We can do that, too! To request education materials or to schedule a presentation, please contact Kris Major, Solid Waste Education Coordinator, at 509.625.6521.
Want to learn how to increase recycling and save money? The City's Solid Waste departments offer free waste consultations to businesses, schools, and hospitals.
Pro-active companies often can lower disposal costs by finding ways to identify and change wasteful practices and by recycling more. Much of the general waste businesses throw away as garbage could be hauled away and recycled at a much lower cost.
Free waste consultations are offered to Spokane businesses. Call 509.625.6580 for more information.
Volunteer Master Composters/Recyclers play an active role in Spokane County's solid waste system by teaching citizens how to reduce waste through recycling and home composting. New volunteers attend Master Composter/Recycler training sessions to prepare them to promote the practice of home composting and recycling throughout the Spokane community. Master Composters/Recyclers are asked to contribute 40 hours of service after their training to inform and encourage others to compost food and yard waste at home and recycle more. In addition to their free training, each Master Composter/Recycler is provided with a compost bin, reference books, and instructional materials.
Master Composters/Recyclers are available to give presentations, in person and virtually, at schools, churches, service clubs, garden clubs, and businesses. This successful program has been around since 1988. Every year the list of volunteers completing the program continues to grow and community outreach increases. For more information and to learn about signing up for the next class, call 509.625.6580.
Visit our Composting page to learn more about the benefits of composting at home.
Learn what it really means to live a "Zero Waste Lifestyle," or just get ideas about different waste reduction strategies you can apply in your own life right now.
From learning about "The Five Rs", to a household room-by-room guide to waste reduction, you'll step away from this course equipped with the knowledge to make a difference in your life. To enroll, create a free account and get started.
We know that decomposition is an important part of breaking down organic waste, but just how does that work? In nature, we call the critters involved “decomposers”. From beetles to microscopic bacteria, decomposers come in all shapes and sizes, and they all play an invaluable role. Check out this new learning kit focused on composting critters to learn more about what they are, where they live, and what they do!