Last year the program reached a total of 75 schools, providing: 38 assemblies, 208 classroom workshops for grades 2-8, 63 bilingual storytelling programs, technical assistance to 24 schools and action project assistance at 11 schools. The program had a total of 31,255 contacts.
In 2017, Waste Management continued to offer waste reduction and recycling outreach programs at area schools. The goal of these programs is to educate students, staff and their families about waste reduction and recycling and to increase recycling at school and at home. These programs include a school-wide theatrical assembly show, individual classroom workshops, customized technical assistance, action project assistance and a bilingual storytelling component new in 2017.
Waste Management was recognized by the Solid Waste Association of North America with a Silver Excellence Award for youth education.
To continue to advance the program several new elements were added in 2017.
Created and delivered a new school-wide theatrical assembly.
Designed a new assembly accompanying the Teacher Discussion Guide materials.
Produced and toured a new bilingual (English and Spanish) storytelling program and materials, to better serve schools with substantial Latino populations.
Delivered two short videos and accompanying teacher guides about recycling and proper sorting.
Created a new student-centered Waste Investigation activity for action project groups.
Compiled existing and new resources into a Teacher Resource Toolkit, and distributed to schools.
Drafted and tested a school-wide lunchroom Waste Expo activity.
Distributed materials to schools, newly translated into five different languages commonly spoken in Snohomish County.
Waste Management's schools outreach program has consistently hit milestones and achieved its goals of increasing student knowledge, improving recycling and waste reduction behavior, and prompting students to share lessons learned at home and with others in their communities.
100 percent of teachers surveyed agree that classroom workshops and bilingual storytelling enhanced student's understanding.
Post-assembly tests showed a 103 percent increase in students' awareness that things thrown in the garbage go to landfills and sit forever as wasted resources.
Technical assistance in schools showed an average 56 percent increase in recycling rates with some schools improving by 156 percent!
96 percent of elementary teachers and 100 percent of middle school teachers agreed that classroom workshops prompted students to teach others what they had learned.
87% of students surveyed stated that they intended to share what they learned with friends and family.
In 2016, Waste Management continued to offer waste reduction and recycling outreach programs to eligible schools in Snohomish County. The goal of these programs is to educate students, staff, and their families about waste reduction and recycling and to increase recycling at school and at home. These programs include a school-wide theatrical assembly show, individual classroom workshops, customized technical assistance, action project assistance, and family outreach booths.
The 2016 program reached 64 schools, providing:49 assemblies,
220 classroom workshopsTechnical assistance to 25 schools
Action project assistance for 19 student groups
Outreach booths at 5 family night events, 12 Recycle Corps interns attended 74 community events, made over 1,500 site visits
, and over 7,000 calls to engage the community in recycling and composting.
Waste Management continued to build upon the program in 2016. In addition to updating ongoing key program components, several new elements were added. Waste Management:
Created, piloted and implemented a new middle school classroom workshop
Developed a "Recycling Rock Star" recognition program for outstanding staff and students, an expansion of the Custodian recognition program
Developed and delivered a new 20-minute staff meeting presentation for schools
Created a waste reduction and recycling school assessment and action plan guide for Green Teams
Provided lunchroom observations and school summaries
Expended technical assistance and student action project assistance from elementary schools to middle schools (including new age-appropriate signs and resources)
Modified the Landfill Laboratory workshop to include more emphasis on sorting
Every year, the program has expanded its reach to new schools while continuing to deliver programs to schools who have participated in the past. The 2016 program reached 64 schools in total, providing 49 assemblies, 220 classroom workshops, in-depth technical assistance to 25 schools, action project assistance for 19 student groups and outreach booths at five family night events. The program had a total of 39,080 contacts, with some individuals counted more than once, as they participated in multiple program components. Of the 64 schools participating in the program in 2016, 12 of them were new and had not previously taken part in any of the Waste Management program components. Of the 52 schools who had previously participated in the program, many selected new program components for the first time in 2016.
In 2016, the Schools WRR Program was successful in achieving its goals. Evaluation analysis shows that teachers expressed overwhelmingly strong support for both the assembly and classroom workshops, unanimously endorsing their effectiveness in educating students on how to reduce waste and recycle more. Ninety five percent of students tested stated that they intended to recycle more as a result of what they learned in their classroom workshop. Custodians and Green Team advisors universally expressed strong approval and appreciation for the technical assistance provided. Recycling rates increased by an average of 53 percent at schools who received technical assistance support. More than 500 family members voluntarily participated in the Waste Management booth activities and took home resources on recycling and waste reduction.
Furthermore, all components of the program were scheduled to maximum capacity in 2016, often exceeding participation goals, confirming that it serves an important role within the school community.
In 2015, the Waste Management team offered waste reduction and recycling (WRR)
programs to elementary schools throughout Snohomish County for the fourth year.
The program teaches school communities, including students, staff and families, the
importance of waste reduction and recycling, how to properly recycle, assists schools in
setting up recycling, compost and other waste reduction programs.
The five key components that make up the program are:
A school wide assembly show.
Individual classroom workshops.
Hands-on technical assistance.
Outreach to families and program evaluation.
The 2015 program made some adjustments based on feedback and results from the work
conducted in 2014, these new elements included:
Updated all classroom workshops to align with the new Next Generation Science
Modified the assembly to include more sorting examples and a deeper emphasis on
Created a new recognition program to award and highlight outstanding custodians.
Fostered collaborations with School District Resource Conservation Managers, to
increase Waste Management partnerships.
Produced new professional-quality prizes for student teams that completed projects.
Created a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for teachers and adult
family night participants.
Survey StatsTeacher Assembly Survey
Teachers participating in this evaluation were asked to rate two aspects of the assembly's effectiveness:
Rate the effectiveness of the assembly in educating students about the importance of reducing waste and recycling. Nearly
two-thirds (59%) rate it as Very Effective, with 40 percent rating it as Effective, and only one percent rating it as Neutral. No teachers assigned a rating of Not Effective or Not at all Effective.
Rate its effectiveness in educating students about how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Sixty percent rate it as Very Effective, with 36 percent rating it as Effective, and four percent rating it as Neutral. No teachers assigned ratings of Not Effective or Not at
all Effective to this dimension.
Teacher Workshop Survey
To assess their satisfaction with the classroom workshops, teachers rated their satisfaction with various aspects of the workshop
on a five point scale ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. Each of the statements and teachers' agreement are
presented in the following table.
Student Workshop Survey
Q1: I learned something new today about waste reduction. 95% Yes, 5% No
Q2: I plan to recycle more because of what I learned today. 95% Yes, 5% No
Q3: Which of these is an example of reducing? Choose all that apply.
Percent of respondents with correct answer:
Using both sides of a piece of paper. 83%
Putting a candy wrapper in the garbage. 86%
Packing your lunch in reusable container. 80%
Using a reusable water bottle. 85%
The WRR school program reached a total of 114 schools, and provided 47 assemblies, 227 classroom workshops, and indepth
technical assistance to 23 schools, action project assistance for 320 students and outreach booths at eight family night
events. The program had a total of 34,239 contacts with students and teachers (Note: some contacts counted more than once if
individuals participated in multiple program components).
In 2014, the Waste Management team offered the third year
of a three year program of waste reduction and recycling (WRR) programs to schools
in select areas of Snohomish County. The intent of the program was to increase recycling
and reduce waste by educating school communities, including students, staff and families, on waste reduction and why and how to recycle and compost.
The 2014 program expanded to offer the following new elements:
Increased emphasis on sharing messages with families and taking action at
New pre-workshop take-home survey for students to complete with families
Updated assembly and workshop script messaging
Technical and project assistance piloted for select secondary schools
Feedback surveys for technical assistance and action projects
Assistance for schools with Washington Green Schools certification goals
Direct family outreach through an interactive recycling "booth" located at family-focused school events
The WRR school program reached a total of 63 schools, and provided 37 assemblies,
214 classroom workshops, in-depth technical assistance to 23 schools, action project
assistance for 11 student groups and outreach booths at six family night events. The
program had a total of 28,712 contacts with students and teachers, with some contacts
counted more than once, as some individuals participated in multiple program
Kids engage in activities that teach them
about the importance of recycling.
Create an outreach and education campaign encouraging youth to seek opportunities for increased recycling and
food scrap collection at their schools, single-family and multifamily homes.
WM consulted with Snohomish County and contracted with early education and multicultural outreach experts
to implement elementary school assemblies and classroom workshops encouraging youth to seek opportunities
for increased recycling and food scrap collection at their schools and homes.
Students participating in the assembly program were given pre- and post-assembly behavior questions. Teachers
participating in the assembly, classroom workshops and onsite recycling assistance were given an evaluation form,
activity worksheets for the classroom, a "Recycle Art Kit" workbook and a home survey to give to students.
"Recycling Rock Star" School Assemblies
The live theater assembly show for grades K-6 engaged students and staff alike as they learned how to make
choices that contributed to a more sustainable home, school, community and planet through waste prevention
and recycling. In both primary and intermediate versions of the show, actors entertained, while presenting typical
situations at home and at school. Students walked away understanding that recycling and waste reduction is
important, and that they play a role at home and at school to prevent waste.
The workshops used hands-on activities combined with table group and large group games. All workshops were
aligned with Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and expected students to use critical thinking skills to explore
the impacts of their choices, thus encouraging behavior change. Three different waste reduction and recycling
workshops were offered to schools: Recycling 101, Habitat Connections, and Landfill Laboratory. Each workshop
provided a different topic as an entry into the classroom curriculum. All workshops included practice time sorting
materials and learning about how to encourage their families to recycle more at home.
Technical Assistance and Action Projects
Technical assistance is offered to schools who would like to move from learning to action. WM recycling
outreach specialists provided hands-on technical and project assistance related to waste prevention and
recycling. This included on-site visits, materials such as containers and signs, data tracking, and assistance with
classroom projects. Written leave-behind materials supported teachers wishing to initiate a waste prevention /
recycling-related project with their classrooms. Teachers filled out a short evaluation after completion of their
project making classes eligible to receive awards.
In 2013 the school assemblies were provided to 72 groups at 34 schools impacting 14,269 students and teachers;
321 workshops were provided to 34 schools impacting 4,781 students and teachers; and technical assistance was
provided at 10 schools impacting 5,382 students and teachers.
"Recycling Rock Star" School Assemblies
The "Recycling Rock Star" assembly was presented a total of 37 times at 27 public and private schools reaching
9,839 teachers and students in 13 school districts. Twenty-six of these schools were new to the program, and
one had received the assembly in 2012 for their intermediate students and in 2013, scheduled it for their
primary students. In addition, a special assembly was held at the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant in
honor of America Recycles Day.
In 2013, 234 classrooms at 40 schools received classroom workshops, reaching 6,217 students and teachers.
Thirty of the 40 schools were new to the program in 2103. Classroom workshops provide students with a deeper
understanding of the importance of reducing waste and how this connects to a sustainable environment.
Technical Assistance and Action Projects
Over the course of 2013, 27 in-person technical assistance visits were made to 17 schools in Snohomish County
that have WM as their current recycling hauler. Of these, only five had received technical assistance in 2012.
Over the course of the past two years of delivering the "Recycling Rock Stars" assembly, "Rs" classroom
workshops and hands-on recycling technical assistance, we have conducted pre- and post- knowledge surveys for
students, as well as program evaluations for teachers. Several aspects of these evaluation results are notable.
First, student results from testing before and after the assembly presentation show that student improvements
in understanding remain stable from last year to this year. Students show nearly identical improvement on a
number of the items tested. As mentioned, students in last year's and this year's program both showed major
improvement in recognizing the waste in a landfill sits there forever as a wasted resource. In addition to student
improvement, overall levels of student understanding also appear stable from last year to this year. This may
indicate the assembly's effectiveness in delivering a consistent message to students.
Teacher's ratings of the effectiveness of the assembly presentation also show high levels of satisfaction this year
and last. Nearly 80 percent of teachers assigned the highest possible satisfaction ratings this year and last (with 98
percent combined rating the assembly as effective). Only minor modifications were made to this year's assembly
script, and teacher satisfaction ratings remain stable. However, a number of improvements were made to this
year's classroom presentations and teacher satisfaction measures showed a notable increase. While last year's
satisfaction ratings averaged near 80 percent, the bulk of this year's ratings ranged from 91 to 96 percent of
teachers assigning the highest possible satisfaction ratings. Overall, these evaluation measures for students and
teachers show the program's ability to deliver a consistent and effective message regarding understanding of
waste reduction and recycling messages.
Teachers were supportive of the new program elements added in 2013. Last year, teachers requested
follow up activity ideas that allowed them to build on the assembly. The discussion guide, coloring pages, and
home survey have been well received.
As in the previous year of the program, all schools that have received technical assistance were very pleased to
have outside assistance and free resources for their school. Where post-assistance recycling rates have been
assessed, schools showed an improvement in recycling rates.
For 2014, we recommend the continuation of assemblies, classroom workshops, technical assistance and
action project assistance, with continued effort made to reach the remaining 79 schools that have not yet
participated. The Triangle Associates team will continue to review assembly and workshop scripts and make
minor modifications to incorporate teacher feedback and address any gaps in student learning. Triangle also
recommends creating additional opportunities to connect the school program with the home. This includes
adding a new Family Outreach task that includes implementing new student "pre" workshop assignment, working
with schools to develop a family night "kit", and training student green teams in outreach at family nights.
For the Technical Assistance and Action Project components for 2014, we recommend the following:
In addition to reaching out to new schools, continue working with schools that received technical
assistance in the previous year so as to maintain a consistent connection between a school and its hauler.
Ensure a successful recycling program and increase school recycling rates
Finalize an evaluation form for Green Teams to fill out once they have had project assistance
Increased follow-up with staff/teachers that have worked with a recycling representative on technical
assistance to track more qualitative feedback
Continue distribution of aprons for student Green Teams
Increase distribution of water bottles by bringing them to the initial school Green Team visit
Continue to reach out to and meet with district Resource Conservation Managers to learn where all schools
in a district can use assistance and build a collaborative partnership between hauler and district
Overall, the Waste Management Education Program is highly regarded. By providing a consistently successful
program, it should easily build on its reputation and be increasingly welcomed in schools throughout the service area.
The Assembly Flyer invited schools to
participate in the recycling assembly and
workshop program. Surveys went home
with the kids and teachers received a
recycling idea handout to increase recycling
participation in the classroom.
Watch the video to find out more about educational assemblies and workshops offered in Snohomish County.
Create and implement elementary school assembly and classroom workshops focused on recycling and waste
In 2012, Waste Management teamed with Snohomish County to develop and launch an interactive waste reduction and recycling assembly and classroom workshop for Snohomish County elementary schools located in the WUTC area or serving students from the WUTC area. The live theater assembly show focuses on how to make choices that contribute to a more sustainable school, community, and planet. The classroom workshops use hands-on activities combined with table
group and large group games. All workshops are aligned with Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and expect students
to use critical thinking skills and explore the impacts of their choices, thus encouraging behavior change.
As part of this program, technical assistance was made available to school staff and Green Teams to help improve
school recycling programs.
The team developed a 40-minute interactive recycling and waste reduction school assembly for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade, and three types of classroom workshops for students in grades 2nd through 5th. The classroom workshops were created to adapt to 2nd/3rd grade or 4th/5th grade learning levels, as well as meet Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR) education standards for science.
In 2012, a total of 27 assemblies and 47 classroom workshops were delivered to Snohomish County elementary schools. Students participating in the assembly program were given pre- and post-assembly behavior questions. Teachers participating in the assembly and/or classroom workshops were given an evaluation form, activity worksheets for the classroom, a Recycle Art Kit workbook and a Home Survey to give to students. All program and survey data, as well as teacher and student feedback, was documented in a project report in early 2013.
Waste Management started the assembly and classroom workshops as a pilot initially, to be able to test various
program elements, and make changes based on student and teacher feedback. Throughout the pilot phase,
Waste Management made modifications to scripts and classroom workshop materials.
Scripts were adapted once the presenters assessed student knowledge and responses. For both the assembly and
classroom workshops, students have consistently shown that they remember the key messages about recycling
and waste reduction.
For classroom workshops, schools expressed that they would like to have more workshops offered to multiple
classrooms. To address this for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year, and into the fall of 2013, Waste Management
will double the number of programs available to each school.
For the technical assistance portion of the program, Waste Management made personal contacts with each of
the participating schools. We learned that hands-on personal visits were extremely valuable. Many schools expressed
that that they would not be making the waste reduction and recycling improvements without the outside
support that the program provides.
Waste Management is in the process of evaluating student pre- and post-test learning, and will make further
modifications based on those results.