John Brooks Thousand Oaks August 7, 2012

Great info. the last week on signage for recycling. I have a couple of related questions. We are a California City (pop'l 130,000) about an hour north of Los Angeles.

We have a grant from the state to place recycling bins and infrastructure at 28 K-12 schools (appx. 21,000 kids). The grant is focused on bottles and cans (bottle bill) and we are required to target an 80% recovery rate. Classroom trash will now go straight to the recycle bin for sorting. We will primarily be concerned with common area collection points - gym, quad, food areas, etc. We will do a waste sort at three schools at the start to get a baseline on material volumes. We plan on having parent groups at elementary schools take charge (fingers crossed) and student groups at the middle and high school level and they will keep the revenue. We have built a website to show totals from each school and use to promote competition. We will use per capita so it is fair for the smaller schools and will also break into elementary, middle and high school bands for comparison.

We have some money for promotion/premiums - but at this point we don't have the capability of giving thousands to winning schools. Recycling at home is embedded in the community with strong recycling rates and low contamination. We also have minimal language/cultural issues to navigate. The school district is very supportive, but we cannot add to the custodians workload.

1. Are you familiar with any large competitions that are suitable to use to motivate in a district like this.

2. Any suggestions for getting the students participation and minimizing contamination.

3. Bandit Recyclers. We will be providing sheds for storage, but it is probably not feasible for the kids to pick up everyday. Any suggestions on methods or signage that would minimize freelance recycling. This is the one are where we would have multiple languages (4-5 different languages).

Thoughts on "Don't steal our kids future - money from these recyclables helps fund school programs".

Advice & links are welcome - we launch in September!

John Brooks
Sr. Analyst
City of Thousand Oaks
United States