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Waste Diversion

SWEP works with TTUSD to guarantee that as much waste as possible is diverted from the landfill.  To do this, SWEP works with TTUSD facilities department, school site, administration and custodial staff as well as with teachers and students to make sure that waste diversion systems are in place and functioning efficiently. 

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What is diverted?

  • Recycling -  SWEP provides proper recycling containers and paper diversion bags to ensure recyclable materials are able to be easily sorted for collection. SWEP staff routinely checks that school sites are sorting their recyclable materials correctly for their school site. SWEP also provides education and outreach to each school site on proper recycling practices.  

  • Smart Sorting Bins - SWEP manages TTUSD school site’s Smart Sorting Bins. These bins are used to collect common school waste items that are not traditionally recyclable, such as, bar wrappers, juice pouches, glue sticks, markers, ink cartridges, and chip bags. SWEP has identified companies that partner to divert and recycle this school waste. We are continually updating these subscriptions and looking for other partners to expand our waste diversion efforts. SWEP staff works with students, custodians and community partners to have all collected materials consolidated and moved to the Waste Diversion Trailer. At the Waste Diversion Trailer, SWEP works with community partners to do a final sort in preparation for shipping.  Finally, SWEP staff collects weight, calculates item numbers, packages materials, and ships to the specific recyclers.

  • E-Waste - SWEP plays a role in collecting TTUSD’s electronic waste. SWEP collects various electronic waste throughout the district and school sites including calculators, printers, DVD players, speakers, keyboards and more. This electronic waste is then combined with materials collected through the facilities department and is taken to TTSD’s landfill for recycling. 

  • Organic Waste - SWEP is working with TTUSD and county agencies to help schools implement organic waste separation systems in compliance with state regulations (SB 1383 & AB 827). SWEP will began with a pilot program in one elementary school in the cafeteria to ensure all students and staff are educated on best practices for organic waste sorting methods and rationale. This program then extended to other school sites to reduce the amount of food waste in the landfill. SWEP now helps divert over 13,000 pounds of organic waste from our local landfills to be composted each school year.

  • Donation & Exchange Stations - Each year, SWEP hosts Donation & Exchange stations at each school site to capture unused or reusable school supplies. In June, stations are set up to encourage students and teachers to donate gently used school supplies such as folders, binders, notebooks, and crayons. All donated supplies are organized and stored for the summer.  Then at the beginning of the school year, used school supplies are made available to returning students. Students are encouraged to reuse rather than buy new. This program saves students and teachers money and it diverts waste away from the landfills.

Who partners with SWEP in this program? Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Town of Truckee, Truckee Tahoe Airport Community Partner, Placer County, Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal

Where is this program offered? All TTUSD schools.

For more information contact SWEP's Project Director, Ashley Phillips, at

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