Vote for a Community Waste Reduction Project and
Make Your Recycling Pledge

Vote for a Community Waste Reduction Grant Project

Please review the projects below that have been selected as our finalists. From November 1 through November 30, submit your vote for one project to receive a $1,500 community waste reduction grant. One project will be selected to receive the grant based on popular vote.

Miramonte High School is working to combine our Environmental Clubs, which include One Step Closer, Miramonte Environmental, Green Team in order to create a variety of educational program that empower students, teachers, and the community as a whole. These organizations are designed to help the environment through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation and pollution prevention.

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Our project is the construction of cold composting bins for re-use of green waste from the gardens at Rancho Romero Elementary School. We would use the grant to purchase materials for the construction of compost bins, composting tools and signage to demonstrate, guide and advise on composting green waste. The prominently placed bins and signage would teach our school and larger Alamo community about the benefits of cold composting used as a garden amendment.

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Recycling Pledge for America Recycles Month

Did you know that paper towels and paper napkins, and even plastic utensils are considered contaminants in recycling? Make your pledge to become an even better recycler by keeping your recyclables clean and contaminant-free. By making a pledge, you'll be entered in a drawing for zero waste prizes! Select your recycling pledge(s) below:

I pledge to make sure my recyclables are empty clean, and dry before placing in the blue recycling container.

I pledge to place paper towels and paper napkins (clean or food-soiled) in the green organics container for composting, not the blue recycling container.

I pledge to place disposable plastic utensils in the black landfill container, not the blue recycling container.

I pledge to purchase items made from recycled-content materials whenever possible to help reduce the demand for products made from raw materials and increase the demand for recycled-content materials.

I pledge to skip the bag, and place my recyclables loosely in the blue recycling container.


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*Recycling pledges must be submitted between November 1-November 30 by a resident of the RecycleSmart service area (Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Walnut Creek and included Unincorporated County) to be entered for the chance to win a prize.






#1 - Make Miramonte Green

Project Description: Through each organizations purposes and admiration, our students have been compiling a plan to increase disposal stations around campus- 3 bin system, educate about the importance of proper waster disposal, discuss the political climate school wide regarding waster, and continue actively working and volunteering in nearby areas to decrease waste and properly dispose items. Miramonte students want to start small, building knowledge around campus to start and then branch out to the community and nearby locations. Students have already conducted campus clean-ups, met directly with Recycle Smart to schedule a waste audit, and the Environmental team is actively at the forefront on staying up on recent news and brainstorming how to make immediate change at school- beginning with changing the materials used in the cafeteria to decrease the amount of waste on campus. Students at Miramonte believe the only way to successfully run a waste reduction program is through active participation- speaking in classrooms, being present in the quad during brunch, passing periods and lunch, and supplying classrooms with the necessary resources to do so.

Project Timeline: October-November: Waste Audit and planning locations where the 3 bin system needs to be implemented, signage around campus December-January: Roll-out of presentations, videos, etc. that will be shown to students, at staff meetings January-: Clubs will begin to head to local businesses and educate them on supplies, items being used that could be hindering the environment February-April: Recycle initiatives, volunteering, increased publication of news around the environment, maintaining waste systems and working with custodians on how waster is being sorted and taken care of Long Term goal: Miramonte students would like to reduce waste on campus well below 10%. In order to do this, realistically, they want to devote this year to obtaining supplies and educating the masses. Through this foundation, students can continue to prioritize their clubs purpose while maintaining the "Make Miramonte Green" holistic model

Grant Use: Students at Miramonte would like to use the grant to supplement costs for the waste system, begin to explore options for signage and environmentally friendly materials for staff and students, and send students to speakers and conferences that teach them more about waste/the environment. This amount is appropriate with the place our clubs here at Miramonte are in. Students want to start small, set realistic goals, and see it flourish gradually. They have just joined task force and want to slowly accomplish their goals- beginning with smart disposal options here at Miramonte.

#2 - Soil Stars! Enriching School Gardens with Compost

Project Description: Our project will build compost bins that create compost to amend our garden beds and demonstrate the importance of compost for growing food. The compost will be used to build the soil in our garden beds that will grow annual produce. The compost bins will have a prominent location in a central school courtyard. The 510 students at Rancho Romero, staff, families and community will view our system, and many will experience it firsthand as a student, teacher or volunteer.

Our school adopted the Harvest of the Month program in 2016. This monthly program highlights California grown produce and inspired us to start a school garden program to grow the vegetables students are studying. We started a garden program three years ago with 8 garden beds. This year we have 14 garden beds for 14 classrooms. Our green garden waste currently goes in the green waste cans for removal from the school site. Our garden plan includes amending the soil with compost before every new planting season, and these composting bins will allow us to develop our own compost instead of bringing it in. We will use cold composting to minimize pests, and help it turn over quickly. We modeled our composting program after a local community garden, The Bounty Garden.

Project Timeline: Upon receipt of the grant, we plan to construct the compost bins within four months, as soon as we can arrange a workday with volunteers. The purchase of tools for chopping compost and turning compost will be purchased when the bins are complete and the signage will follow. The entire grant would fund materials and all labor will be volunteered by the community. All funds will be expended in the 2019-2020 school year.

Grant Use: We would use the grant to buy materials to construct the compost bins, tools for composting and educational signage. All labor will be donated. These products would be used for demonstration, inspiration and authentic learning experiences at a school that serves 500+ students and their families, staff and administration.

The ability to grow a wide variety of food locally is a benefit of living in Northern California. Through the programs we are initiating at Rancho Romero, we have the opportunity to inspire our students to take advantage of our climate and space to grow food. Composting organic material is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive growing environment. We intend to demonstrate the effective use of compact composting methods that can be adapted to individual homes - to divert valuable biomass from the landfill and use it to improve soil health for growing food.