Schools host many large events throughout the year that generate large quantities of waste. From prom to football games; multi-cultural week to club rush; back to school night to year end locker clean-out, schools have plenty of opportunities to confront unique waste challenges. For any event, the principles expressed in StopWaste's Special Event's Best Practice Guide, provide a framework for waste reduction. Although the guide is designed for large events typically hosted by cities or promoters, the ideas apply equally well to schools, Event planners are encouraged to try to design as much waste out of the event as possible by using reusable items instead of disposable ones or ensuring that any disposable items are easily recycled.
At Irvington High School in Fremont, the student government has created an elected position for a "Green Commissioner" The green commissioner has the responsibility for reviewing student activities for sustainability, and has the power to approve or deny club purchases or event plans based on environmental impacts.
Irvington has implemented a poster reuse & recycling system to divert student government and activities posters from trash cans. Anyone who hangs posters promoting an event must collect them after the event is complete. The posters that have paint/markers only on one side are taken back to student government for reuse, posters that have been reused on both sides are diverted to recycling.
At large events held in the courtyard such as club rush and multi-cultural week festivals, students set up waste stations- large rings of recycling toters, green waste bins and some garbage cans. Student volunteers stand in the inside of the ring and help other students place items in the correct bin to maximize diversion.
Thousands of pounds of recyclables are diverted every year by placing recycling toters in the hallway at the end of the year to capture paper for recycling at Irvington. Other schools have designed comprehensive year-end Locker Leftovers systems to capture reusable and recyclable materials alike.