StopWaste at School


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SLWRP | Grades 6-12

The Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project (SLWRP) works with students and teachers from middle and high schools to find ways to reduce waste on campus and in the community through service-learning projects. Funded primarily by StopWaste.Org, SLWRP provides professional development, technical assistance, field trips, waste audit support, networking, stipends and other services to schools in Alameda County. All schools are encouraged to take advantage of the resources and ideas shared in this website. If you are interested in learning more, download our flyer.  If you want to become a SLWRP school, contact Nate Ivy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2015-2016 SWAP Stipend Forms

SWAP Teams

SLWRP Team at Wood Middle SchoolSLWRP Team at Wood Middle SchoolEach StopWaste Ambassador Program (SWAP) school is provided with stipends to form a green team and to honor the time and effort spent coordinating and implementing waste reduction lessons and activities on campus and in the community. $2200 is available to each SWAP school as stipends for SWAP team members.

Typically, hospital SWAP green teams are comprised of one campus coordinator stipended at $650, diagnosis one community leadership coordinator stipended at $650 and other team members stipended at $300 for special projects. 

Stipeneded SWAP green team members typically include teachers, classified staff, or after-school program educators. When building a SWAP green team, schools take a variety of approaches depending on their goals and the enthusiasm of different staff members. SWAP can be integrated into any curricular area and teams in the past have included representatives from a range of school staff members. Consider staff members on campus that can help organize and implement campus-wide and community outreach (Leadership teachers, Digital Media Teachers, Foriegn Language teachers, etc). Also consider the role that lead custodians, kitchen staff, and parent coordinators might play in your waste reduction efforts as you form your SWAP green team. Contact Nate Ivy with questions about forming your SWAP team.



  • Provides leadership for developing and implementing campus environmental vision, while acting as a liaison between StopWaste and campus community.
  • Frequently shares waste reduction information and practices with campus community including teachers, administrators, staff, students and families.
  • Identifies waste reduction challenges on campus and works to implement solutions using 4Rs practices.
  • Works with district office to ensure that solutions work within broader system.
  • Works with StopWaste Associates to develop, document, and share best practice case studies.


  • Facilitates student participation and waste reduction leadership in community events such as: Farmer’s Markets, Festivals, EarthDay, etc. Significant student participation in at least one off-campus/community event is required.
  • Sponsors a student green-team, environmental club, or environmental class.
  • Works with StopWaste to develop student waste reduction leadership skills and help students become StopWaste Ambassadors on campus and in the community.
  • Provides documentation of students’ community impact. (Photos, surveys, case studies, reports, participant counts, event flyers/agendas, etc.)


  • Identify and support campaigns to develop sustainable and replicable solutions for on-campus waste challenges.
  • 4Rs Action Projects are one-time efforts to fix specific waste reduction problems on campus.
  • Projects led by teachers or staff, usually with student support.


Stipend forms now includes a brief application coversheet to define your goals for the current school year. Campus and community coordinators should complete the coversheet and the stipend forms. For 4Rs Action Project stipends, please submit the application only. After the application is reviewed, project stipend forms will be distributed to the members of the project team.


Submitting your forms

Download and print the appropriate forms. Ensure that each team member completely fills out and signs the highlighted areas of the appropriate form. Provide the address where you would like your stipend check mailed at the end of the school year.

Completed forms may be mailed to:

Nate Ivy
Alameda County Office of Education
313 W. Winton Ave
Hayward, CA 94544

Stipend Payments

Stipends are paid during the summer after the completion of the school year. School site SLWRP coordinators must submit all year end reporting before stipends are issued. Stipends will be mailed to the address you provide on your stipend form. 

SLWRP 2013-2014

A few spaces are still open for middle and high schools from Alameda County to join the Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project (SLWRP) for 2013-2014.

SLWRP features support for teachers and students interested in reducing waste on campus, store at home and in the community. In 2011-2012, schools in the SLWRP program cut waste sent to landfill by over 1.5 million pounds through a variety of efforts to Reduce, recipe Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost).

In addition to the traditional SLWRP support of monthly professional development and networking meetings, technical assistance, free field trips, waste audit support, and stipends for teachers and staff, SLWRP will also add support for other environmental pathways in the Green Star Schools framework:

  • Waste
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Food
  • School Yards.

Member schools can get started right away by signing up for field trips, preparing stipend forms, and registering for a waste audit using the menu on the upper right hand corner of this page. Also, be sure to check out our "Welcome Back!" post with tips for setting a waste reduction tone at your school at the start of the year.

Schools that are interested in joining SLWRP should contact Nate Ivy at the Alameda County Office of Education: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Life after SLWRP

Former SLWRP Student, Julien MalardFormer SLWRP Student, Julien MalardGuest post by Julien Malard. Julien will be a sopohomore at McGill University in Montreal, Canada this fall.  From 2009-2011, Julien helped establish and lead FIERCE (FremontIans Enabling Real Change in the Environment) a cross-campus environmental student leadership group in Fremont, California.

If there's one major thing that I discovered when working on environmental projects in the Bay Area, it's that any individual's impact is necessarily small, hence the oft-quoted saying "every small action counts." But I found myself not very satisfied with that assertion. True, if everybody did their part, the world would be a much better place, and doing one's part and living sustainably can, I suppose, clean one's conscience of most of the ills of humankind. But it can be discouraging to do one's part and see that, on a large scale, not enough is happening. One answer to that, against which "every little action counts" was formulated, would be to give up entirely. The alternate response, which I prefer, is to take it into one's hands to make sure that something is happening on a large scale. Which necessarily means networking and coalition-forming.

My previous experience with FIERCE, SLWRP, EarthTeam, and all the environmental initiatives I was in contact with in Alameda County have certainly played a great part in shaping my understanding of environmental action and project management. When I first arrived in Montréal, Canada, with the memory of these organisations fresh in my mind, my first impulse was to try to recreate a coalition similar to FIERCE between Montréal's colleges and universities--firstly, because I missed FIERCE so much I wanted to bring it along with me in some form, and secondly, because I itched to take on wide-scale environmental projects that I knew would require an organisation with city-wide standing in order to succeed. People take you more seriously then. If it encourages any outgoing seniors, I might add that being a legally adult college student helps as well.

The inter-university coalition has been quite successful, with members from five university campuses as well as a handful of CÉGEPs (Québec colleges). We called it CENEM (for la Coalition environnementale des étudiants de Montréal, or Montreal Students' Environmental Coalition) and met for the first time in November 2012. Most of the organisation of CENEM is copied directly from FIERCE--little to no formal hierarchy, project-based teams, rotating meeting locations, and membership open to all individuals regardless of their position in their campus' environmental group. Actually, having specific project-based (instead of broad topic-based) teams was our only original difference from FIERCE. Interestingly, a few months later I learned that FIERCE had abolished its subject-based committees and turned to project-based committees as well!

So far we have started several projects, each led by a student whose particular interest it is. Concordia University and l'Université du Québec à Montréal brought us waste-reduction initiatives from their campuses that we have begun to introduce at the other universities, while other members are working on setting up a project for the restoration of unused but degraded urban plots of land. We also have an energy-efficiency programme that offers energy audits and subsequent recommendations to businesses. This summer we obtained city funding for a pilot project (160 hours) and, if all goes well, are planning to expand it to all of Montréal Island next year. Keeping projects moving quickly, I'd learned, keeps members active and interested. In the end I think it's even more important than regular email communication and public relations, although that too of course does pay off. I can usually predict whether we will ever see a new member again just by whether they made a firm commitment to a particular project at their first meeting.

Urban Forest Restoration ProjectUrban Forest Restoration ProjectOn a separate note, but similar in organisation to the previous projects, is a reforestation and ecological landscaping project I started on my campus to get rid of the ridiculously large amount of grass for an environmental campus. McGill University's environmental sciences campus is a large, open campus with lots of grassy slopes and fields--quite picturesque, but losing part of its appeal when you see a large diesel-driven lawnmower rolling over it. This summer we hired three students to make and implement planting plans to free four pilot regions from the monocot monoculture, and again, if all goes well, we should spread to most of the campus by next year, soccer field excepted.

But my experience with SLWRP and LEAF has recently brought on the possibility of a much larger and exciting initiative. I have had the good fortune to meet several students who have been working on several different aspects of environmental education. One has begun a coalition of secondary and primary school environmental groups in Montréal. A student group at my campus has been dedicating itself to offering environmental education sessions at a local elementary. Still another student is organising a green waste diversion programme for one elementary school, which is quite ambitious as Montréal still does not have composting infrastructure and the school will have to manage the composting system on site. But most of these initiatives have, for now, enjoyed a relatively small reach amongst Montréal Island's 500 or so schools.

And so, remembering SLWRP, EarthTeam, and LEAF and the wonderful encouragement they brought to me during the high school years in which I benefited from their services, I came to think about whether it might not be possible to emulate their organisation by creating a broad, outreach-based organisation of university students that would visit Montréal schools and offer them each of the services that the individual student groups have been providing to a few schools so far. We would also offer general services (grant-application help) and add a few ideas from SLWRP and EarthTeam, notably waste audits and transfer station field trips and perhaps something along the lines of the Green News. We are also toying with the idea of a LEAF-style camp for next spring.

Of course, we have no funding yet, and all we have is a small but very dedicated group of volunteers. Nowhere near enough to reach a sizable portion of Montréal's more than 500 schools yet, but hopefully strong enough to build up a progamme that will. And if we do, it will be hard to imagine how it could have happened without the brilliant vision that Stopwaste and EarthTeam have provided of just how meaningful such a programme can become.

Waste management/waste audit:

Experience with SLWRP and waste reduction initiatives also gave a rather nice perspective of the waste management at McGill University. My first nice surprise when arriving was to see that recycling was managed by custodial staff, something that had been (and, to my knowledge, still is) a far-off vision in my high school. Even composting services were provided, this time by students who pick up the compost at various drop-off locations around the campus and compost it at the community gardens (Montréal, inexplicably, having only recently decided to start planning a city-wide green waste collection service).

Within a few weeks, though, some things began appearing slightly less ideal. Recycling bins, especially in residences, are often located far from garbage containers, and the same goes for compost. Perhaps not unexpectedly, this is perceived by many as more than adequate excuse not to make the· thirty-second trip to the correct bin. Composting services are entirely student-run, and, while the students do manage it quite well, this necessarily means a moratorium over the summer, as well as a general lack of integration with most campus activities organised by other groups. What was my surprise when I found the Dean's cocktail reception for the new students to the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment was only adorned with a large garbage can! Or when student groups go to the trouble of buying compostable dishware and spoons for their events but neglect to bring a composting bin as well!

And so I worked with two environmental clubs on campus to set up a waste audit at the beginning of the semester, for which SLWRP and associated schools kindly provided a wide range of documents and tips. The audit was small but unambiguous--over half of our campus waste by weight could easily be diverted with our existing waste management infrastructure, with up to 75% potential diversion for residences.

So far, the report has led to a waste-reduction campaign in the residences, in which we competed against other Québec Universities in a Sierra Youth Coalition-organised competition. Waste reductions were modest, to be honest, but what I'd learned from my experience with high school waste reduction projects (it must be easy and simple to sort, with clearly identified bins where recycling and composting are at least on equal footing with garbage) was central to all the recommendations we made to the residence committee, some of which were adopted. I will risk a lack of modesty here and hazard to guess that the limited results were due to the failure to adopt our recommendations in their entirety.

Next year I hope for more impressive results; with the waste audit data, as well as having "broken the ice" with the small waste reduction initiatives in residence and with my growing knowledge of university administration organisation, I hope to press for more comprehensive reform and consolidation of the waste management recuperation system at my campus. And if all goes well, you shouldn't be surprised if the proper sorting guides on the bins bear a certain resemblance to the ones offered by StopWaste to its SLWRP schools.

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

As you get ready to open the school year it is important to provide strong messages to staff and students about the waste reduction efforts at your school. It is much easier to start the year with these systems in place than to change course in the middle of the year. This website hosts a number of tools, guides and checklists that may be useful for starting the year.

Be sure to check out the School Recycling Toolkit for best practices and advice from SLWRP schools about setting up your school's waste reduction system.

This year, member schools will be eligible for additional services and support from SLWRP. In addition to free field trips, waste audit support, professional development and networking, student leadership programming, technical assistance and stipends for waste reduction leaders, SLWRP will also provide cafeteria food scrap starter kits to a limited number of schools. Kits will include bins, signs, grabbers, scales, and technical assistance to start diverting organic material from the cafeteria. Details about how to apply for this resource will be available soon.

The SLWRP meeting calendar is in development and will included sessions on electronic waste, marine debris, bio plastics, and support for the Green Star Schools program which provides additional resources and recognition for your efforts in other environmental pathways (Waste, Water, Energy, Transportation, Food, & School Yards)

A small selection of resources from this website are listed below. They provide a brief check-list and some starter text for the 1st days of school. Please do take a look and get in touch if you need help getting started this year.

In service,

Nate Ivy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

You will need to register or login to the website to access these documents:

SLWRP featured in Principal Leadership

Principal LeadershipPrincipal LeadershipThe Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project (SLWRP) is featured in the December edition of Principal Leadership, viagra 40mg a publication of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The edition focuses on green schools and uses a description of the SLWRP program and examples of projects from our schools to highlight ways that schools can be greener without building new facilities. More importantly, story the article focuses on the work SLWRP schools do to engage students as stewards, case decision makers and leaders in this work.

The article shares stories from Irvington High School, Wood Middle School, Mandela High School, and Leadership Public School.

The article appears on pages 26-30 of the magazine linked here: