StopWaste at School


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Binventory Reporting

Binvintory ReportBinvintory ReportThe last step in your Binventory is to tally the results using the linked excel spreadsheet and report your data back to SWAP.

Please fill in the GREEN portions of the Binventory sheet. It will automatically calculate the total numbers of bins and labels in your system.

Use the data from your Binventory report to inform improvements to your waste reduction program. You might consider converting trash cans to recycling bins, look moving recycling containers close to trash cans to promote recycling, here or designing/downloading bin labels to make sure the system is used correctly. The Binventory might also highlight new areas of campus or special waste collection opportunities to take your program to the next level.  More tips for improving your campus recycling program are found in our School Recycling Toolkit

Download the Binventory Report form here.


Campus Map

Binvintory MapBinvintory MapSharpen your pencils and grab a campus map (usually available in the main office of your school). It's time to take a walk to find all of the bins on your campus.

Each bin should be coded on your map using the following key:

Bin Code Bin Type
T Large Trash Can for Landfill
To Rolling Trash Toter
t Small Trash Can
R Large Recycling Bin
Ro Rolling Recycling Toter
r Small Recycling Bin
C Large Compost Bin
Co Rolling Compost Toter
c Small Compost Bin
S Large Special Waste Bin
So Rolling Toter for Special Waste
s Small Special Waste Bin

Sample coding for a rolling trash toter co-located with a clearly labeled large recycling bin and small unlabeled compost bin.Sample coding for a rolling trash toter co-located with a clearly labeled large recycling bin and small unlabeled compost bin.Each individual bin that is properly labeled should be circled.

Co-located bins and waste stations are indicated by drawing a box around them (see example at right)


  1. Use color-coded sharp pencils or fine point pens to help keep track of the bins
  2. Use the binventory mapping activity as a class or club project
  3. Scan or photograph your binventory map to help you plan future distribution of bins.
  4. Email a scan or photo of your binventory map to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share your findings with the StopWaste Ambassador Program network.

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Binventory Definitions

In the Binventory, here schools are encouraged to count all waste receptacles across campus. A few definitions can help you with this task:

Bin: Bins are receptacles for waste accessible to the students, staff and visitors to the campus in the normal course of the day. Bins include trash cans, recycling boxes, and compost receptacles.

Dumpster: Dumpsters are the large carts serviced by your waste hauler. Typically, custodians and students move materials from bins to dumpsters to be hauled off campus.

Toter: Toters are rolling carts for receiving and transporting waste- they are similar to the toters at most single family homes in Alameda county. ·Some schools use toters to collect waste in common areas of the campus before being emptied in the dumpsters or rolled to the curbside for collection.

Waste Station: Waste stations are garbage cans paired with waste diversion bins. Some waste stations are professionally designed units, others may be the deliberate co-location of waste, recycling and/or compost bins.

Special Wastes: ·Many campuses establish special bins for special wastes such as batteries, eWaste, lab chemicals, "sharps" such as needles that may be found in a nurses office, etc.

"All areas of campus" The binventory is designed to be a comprehensive count of ALL receptacles on campus. A campus map is a great tool for making sure that you find every receptacle. If a campus map is unavailable, consider counting bins located in:

  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Libraries
  • Auditoriums
  • Theatres
  • Gymnasiums
  • Cafeterias
  • Hallways
  • Courtyards
  • Offices
  • Copy rooms
  • Parking lots
  • Sports fields and stadiums
  • Sidewalks adjacent to campus

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Schools often have a difficult time running effective waste reduction programs due to a lack of consistent, diagnosis properly labeled bins. In an effort to help get proper recycling bins and labels at each site, schools are encouraged to conduct a Bin Inventory- or Binventory.

Clearly Labeled Cafeteria Waste StationClearly Labeled Cafeteria Waste StationBest practices suggest that all trash cans should be paired with an opportunity to recycle or compost based on the types of waste generated in each location on campus. All bins should be labeled with color-coded, imaged based signs indicating the types of waste appropriate for each bin.

The Binventory is a comprehensive study of the types and locations of all waste receptacles on campus. It is designed to help schools identify gaps in their waste reduction systems. Data from the Binventory will support your efforts to create effective waste reduction stations across your campus.

There are three steps to the Binventory:

  1. Using a campus map, plot the location of every trash, recycling, compost and special waste bin on campus.
  2. Fill in an inventory tracking sheet for your campus to identify gaps in your waste reduction program
  3. Adjust bin placements and signage to improve your system

Use the resources listed below to complete your Binventory: