Kris and the Worm Bin

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.

Exploring Spokane: Turning Waste to Energy Book

Now available! Exploring Spokane: Turning Waste to Energy is a new children's book that explains how Spokane disposes of its trash in the only waste to energy facility in the state. Follow Jules, Oliver, and a curious marmot as they take readers on a journey through the solid waste system. More importantly, they learn why making less trash to begin with is the best thing to do.

The book is available free of charge. A copy can be picked up in person at the Administration Building of the Waste to Energy Facility at 2900 S. Geiger Blvd., Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

You can also download this digital copy and enjoy from the comfort of your computer!


  • Worm Composting
  • Master Composters and Kids
  • Bear Lake Kids Activity
Classroom Presentations

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. All programs include a combination of guided conversation, show and tell, and engaging Q&A. Check out the programs below and use the online reservation form to request your presentation.

Make it Recycled – Paper!
Paper Making

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!

Compost – Nature's Recycling
  • Kris and the Worm Bin
  • Scouts and Worms

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!

Hungry for a Waste Free Lunch?

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 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.

To schedule a presentation, submit a classroom presentation request form.

America Recycles Day Poster Contest

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.

  • Recycle Calendar Art 1
  • Recycle Calendar Art 2

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.

School Waste Reduction Consultations

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 solid waste staff at 509.625.6580.

Online Waste Reduction Classes

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 Instruction is meant to be short, informative and self-paced. New classes are added regularly so check back often.

Waste to Energy Facility Tours

  • Waste to Energy Facility
  • Disposal Claw
  • Disposal Claw

Tours of the Waste to Energy facility, 2900 S. Geiger Blvd. In-person tours of the facility are resuming, but limited. They are being scheduled on a case-by-case basis by calling 509.625.6580 or by filling out our online reservation form.
Virtual presentations are available or check out our tour video on the WTE page.


Terra at 9 Mile School

You may arrange for a speaker from the City of Spokane’s Solid Waste Department to visit your classroom, group, or business. Topics include how to improve waste reduction practices, increase your recycling programs, or divert organics into a composting program. To request education materials or to schedule a speaker, please contact the City of Spokane Solid Waste Department at 509.625.6580.

Business Waste Reduction Consultation

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.

Master Composters/Recyclers Program

Become a Master Composter/Recycler!

The Master Composter/Recycler Program is a six-week course that teaches residents how to reduce waste through home composting and recycling. This is a free, in-person program with weekly meetings and extended learning opportunities. The classes are held at the Water Treatment Center at 1004 N. Freya St. The Spring Compost Fair will be at Finch Arboretum. There are two components to the Master Composter/Recycler program – training and volunteering. Register to become a Master Composter/Recycler for 2024.

The training consists of six classes taught by Master Composters/Recyclers, Partner Non-Profits, and Spokane County Regional Solid Waste System employees. Topics covered in these courses include:

  1. Science & Benefits of composing
  2. Compost pile building and maintenance
  3. Vermicomposting (composting with worms)
  4. Food waste fermentation (Bokashi)
  5. Recycling and household hazardous waste disposal
  6. Zero waste philosophy
  7. Community education and outreach

Those who complete the program agree to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours in the first year after graduation by sharing their knowledge with others. Volunteer hours may include but are not limited to, sharing about composting and recycling with Spokane residents, neighborhood cleanup efforts, working outreach booths, and other educational/service projects.

When you complete the six-week Master Composter/Recycler Program you will receive a free compost bin and certificate of completion.

For additional information, contact Jill Reeves at

Visit our Composting page to learn more about the benefits of composting at home.

  • Master Composters Activity
  • Master Composters Activity

Become a Master Composter/Recycler!

Hands-on Activity Kits

New kit available for check out!

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!