Education Outreach

New Hanover County Recycling & Solid Waste offers free educational opportunities and programming about recycling, composting, and more environmentally-friendly waste management tips for students and community groups. 

Garbage to Gardens food waste on tray

Garbage to Gardens

The Garbage to Gardens program is a free educational outreach program that helps students implement composting and recycling procedures to divert waste from the landfill. By changing the way students dispose of food and other waste in the school lunchroom, students can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. The program highlights the importance of soil microbes, composting, plant biology, gardening, and so much more. The program ties all of this together to provide kids with a complete vision of how to use systems thinking to grow healthy people, plants & planet. Programming is designed to meet NC Essential Standards for many subjects across grade levels.

  • All students and staff will get an orientation on successful recycling and composting.
  • Garbage to Gardens (G2G) staff will spend time in the school cafeteria and assist staff in establishing waste diversion stations with visual signage for compost, recycling, liquids, and landfill trash. 
  • Compost hauling services will be contacted to start weekly pickups.
  • Waste diversion efforts in the cafeteria will continue to be run by students and school staff throughout the school year with check-ins and waste diversion tracking from G2G staff.
  • Individual classes from one grade level may opt to participate in a 1-hour curriculum-based lesson on sustainability and soil health annually taught by G2G staff.
  • Participating schools can receive their finished compost to use in school gardens!

All educational programming, food waste collection bins, and signage provided by Garbage to Gardens are free. Contact us to start this sustainability program at your school!

Garbage to Gardens bins and signage
Garbage to Gardens waste being weighed
Garbage to Gardens kids worms
Garbage to Gardens worms in kids' hands