Food Scraps and Recycling


The Food Scraps and Recycling program, funded by Sacramento County’s Sac Green Team and the City of Sacramento, is designed to reduce the amount of compostable and recyclable trash ending up in landfills. Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 14.1 % of these emissions in 2017. California’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy, Senate Bill 1383, aims to reduce emissions by requiring schools, businesses, and residential housing to recycle their organic waste. To aid in this effort and foster healthier lungs, BREATHE teams up with local K-12 schools to educate students and staff on the environmental impacts of landfills and the benefits of composting. This work paves the way for a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Who can participate?

BREATHE works with K-12 schools in the City of Sacramento and Sacramento County to implement systems in schools to recycle food scraps into compost. This free program for schools includes:

  • Virtual and in-person training and assemblies for students and staff
  • Waste station infrastructure, including signage and bins
  • On-site technical assistance throughout the school year
  • Resources for how to successfully implement food scraps recycling at school
  • Incentives for students to sort their waste
  • Leadership/environmental clubs are encouraged to participate for a more student-led experience

If your school is located in the City or County of Sacramento and looking to start a food scraps recycling program, you can contact Program Manager Melissa Hill by email at [email protected] or by calling the BREATHE office at (916)444-5900 ext.6#.

Resources for Schools

Looking for tools and resources to help your district or school reduce and recycle food scraps? Visit our School Food Scraps Recycling Toolkit for handouts, signage, teacher resources, presentations and more. See below for more resources in our toolkit!

Babcock Elementary School Case Study

In the 2022-23 academic year, Babcock Elementary School in Sacramento, California, had successfully implemented a Food Scraps Recycling Program with the support of Breathe California Sacramento Region (BREATHE). The program aims to reduce food scraps sent to landfills, education about environmental hazards, and promote environmental sustainability. Through collaboration between BREATHE, school staff, administration, and a student club; interviews were developed to implement a process for student-led involvement to monitor food scraps stations and share carts. Babcock is on its way to making a difference in the community by reducing food scraps and increasing food sustainability. This case study outlines the process of implementation, challenges, lessons learned, and best practices for a Food Scraps Recycling program in schools.

Click here for our 2022-23 Babcock Elementary School Case Study