If you're an educator, you've come to the right place! This is your one-stop shop for all of our waste reduction and recycling educational resources. Take a look at the sections below and let us know if you have any questions.
Skip ahead to any of these sections:
- Eligible Schools
- Our Partners
- Field Trips
- Success Stories
- Student Activities
- Local Resources
Santa Barbara County is proud to provide waste reduction and recycling support for schools located in the unincorporated areas of the county and in the City of Goleta. To see if your school qualifies for free services, please e-mail us or call (805) 882-3618.
Some local cities, such as the City of Santa Barbara and the City of Lompoc, also provide school recycling programs. Click here for a listing of the City Recycling Contacts.
The County offers free education through a contract with the local non-profit agency, Explore Ecology. Explore Ecology provides excellent hands-on waste reduction and composting education, including in-class lessons and field trips to the Art From Scrap ReUse Store. The program serves grades K through 12 countywide.
- See how Explore Ecology is Creating a New Generation of Environmental Stewards
- Discover more about the Art From Scrap ReUse Store
- Learn about Explore Ecology's Environmental Education Presentations
For more information or to arrange for a presentation, e-mail Education Director Mariana Cruz or call (805) 884-0459 ext. 16. Presentations are subject to availability.
In the northern part of the county, Waste Management provides an Environmental Education and Recycling Collection Box, which is available at no cost to schools located within their franchised hauling territories. The program is ideal for grades 6 through 12.
The education box encourages students to learn about waste reduction and recycling. For more information or to schedule a presentation, email Charla Horr or call her at (805) 614-1132. The education box is subject to availability.
Take an eye-opening trip to the Tajiguas Landfill to show your students where their trash ends up. Tours are free year-round for groups of five or more and can be scheduled on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
You can also teach your students how to reduce their environmental impact by taking a tour through our South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station. Visit our Transfer Station Tours page to see more!
Explore Ecology has successfully impacted many schools and students throughout the county. Find out what the teachers had to say:
South County School Districts
Ellwood Elementary, Grade K/1, Samuels
"The presentation is an excellent reinforcement of the Earth Science component of our class curriculum. As always, I truly appreciate the tenacious hard work and dedication that is put forth by your organization. Thank you!"
Brandon Elementary, Grade 2, Hetrick
"Next Generation Science standards: environmental education, problem solving, earth science. You are such excellent presenters and educators. Thank you for sharing your expertise using perfectly appropriate management skills."
La Patera Elementary, Grade 3, Ino
"Our science program covers recycling, composting, plants and invertebrates. Both instructors had great classroom management skills and taught grade appropriate concepts. The lesson was clear and engaging."
North County School Districts
St. Louis de Montfort, Grade 2, Fuller
"Decomposition cycle illustrated how organic matter rots away. Nature's way of recycling. So fun looking at the compost. Great presentation packed with info about life sciences."
Los Berros Elementary, Grade 4, Richards
"Next-Gen Science Standards: understanding observable properties of materials through analysis and classification."
Ralph Dunlap Elementary, Grade 5, Brown
"This presentation followed state standards and also helped make my students better global citizens. Love your programs."
St. Louis de Montfort, Grade 6, Woodfin
"Meets 6th grade curriculum, good use of 6th grade science terms. Engaged students and related to 6th grade class. Knowledgeable and was able to include students in participating in the conversation."
For some fun visuals, we've pulled together our favorite YouTube waste reduction videos:
The Story of Stuff (Duration 21:25)
The Story of Bottled Water (Duration 8:05)
The Story of Electronics (Duration 7:47)
The Three R's (Duration: 2:51)
Don't Waste Your Waste (Duration: 5:47)
Too Good To Waste (Duration: 3:32)
How a Landfill Works (Duration: 2:49)
How Compost is Made (Duration: 6:30)
Want to learn more about composting? Download our comprehensive Composting ABC's booklet.
Are you interested in updating the recycling containers at your school? Click here to learn how.
Want to know everything about recycling in Santa Barbara County? Take a peek at our Recycling Resource Guide.
You can also view a short video on the services our Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division provides.
Want even more resources? Check out our colleagues in the Bay Area, StopWaste.org, to view different lesson plans and videos, create your own recycling signs, and more.
Find out how your school can apply for grants to fund environmental education programs, such as recycling, composting, general sustainability, and so much more!
For information on how to apply for each grant, click on the links provided: