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Oakland Unified School District

Waste Reduction


Minimize the generation of waste, and encourage the recovery and diversion of reusable materials from the waste stream based on the 7Rs; Recycle, Refuse, Reuse, Repair, Re-gift, and Recover.

What We Do

Green Gloves Program

In coordination with OUSD Nutrition and Custodial Services staff, to reduce waste, increase sorting, and empower kids at their schools.   Learn more about the Green Gloves program click here. [link to green gloves page]

Green Purchasing

OUSD Staff are working with the Procurement Department to ensure environmental purchasing practices are being met. 


Through the adoption of the Wellness Policy, OUSD staff are supporting the implementation of the Nutrition guidelines for all schools. In partnership with the Rethink Your Drink campaign, OUSD engages students in healthier drink choices.

Learn more about the Rethink Your Drink Campaign.

Partnership with StopWaste

In coordination with Stopwaste to divert waste sent to the landfill and fund waste assessments. OUSD Adopted StopWastes Smart Cafeteria Initiative for safe food handling and donations. Learn more about waste sorting work being done at schools with StopWaste through this Sorting Cafeteria Waste Video.

OUSD in the News

Board Ends Styrofoam

In November 2011, the OUSD School Board voted to end styrofoam use in all district schools and facilities. Check out the press release on Oakland North here.

Composting in OUSD

In 2012, Lincoln Elementary School instituted a composting system in their cafeteria to teach students how to properly sort their trash. Read the story on Oakland North here.

National Green Schools Alliance

In 2017, OUSD became a founding member of the National Green Schools Alliance, which provides programs, tools, and resources to fast-track sustainable solutions in schools. Visit the alliance's website here.

Expanding Food Share Bins

In 2018, the Food & Environment Reporting Network highlighted OUSD’s food share sorting program being implemented in different schools throughout the district. Read the story here. The program was also covered by Grist, a non-profit, independent media outlet covering sustainability stories. View the story on their site here.

K-12 School Food Recovery Roadmap

In 2018, OUSD Sustainability developed a tool called the K-12 School Food Recovery Roadmap that provides guidance on how to implement surplus food reduction and recovery initiatives. View the article on BioCycle here


Waste Sorting Teacher Resource

OUSD Waste Sorting 101

California State Mandates

Green Gloves Resources

Waste Reduction