Keep America Beautiful Awards

Congratulations to the California Department of Education, CalTrans, and CalRecycle for receiving awards at the Keep America Beautiful national conference. Keep California Beautiful greatly appreciates the partnership and support of all three organizations over the years!

Registration Open for 2020!

register-nowfor the February
K-12 Recycling Challenge

FREE for all California K-12 Schools!

Foodservice Packaging Institute

Foodservice Packaging Institute

K-12 Challenge on KXTV

Kudos to Kevin Barnes for his many great years of service to Bakersfield and
Keep Bakersfield Beautiful!


Awards Received

K-12 Recycling Challenge
GuideStar Gold Participant

GuideStar Keep California Beautiful

Television Coverage


K-12 Recycling on KCRA Morning News

K-12 on Good Day Sacramento

K-12 on Good Day Sacramento



The California K-12 Schools Recycling Challenge will run from February 1st through last day of February.


California K-12 Schools Recycling Challenge is open to all public K-12 schools and districts as well as private and or Charter Schools in California. Colleges, universities and non-academic institutions are not eligible to participate.

How to Participate:

Register: To compete in the California K-12 Schools Recycling Challenge schools must complete the online registration form.

Report Results Weekly: Schools must enter their numbers weekly using the online competition reporting form.  Upon registering, each school is assigned its own Data Entry form.  Forms will be made available when the competition begins.

Below are the requirements the K-12 Recycling Challenge:

1. Participate as a campus or district.

2. Be able to track and report data according to the standards outlined below.

3. Have the official contact person responsible for reporting weights upload supporting documentation such as weight tickets or hauler reports via data form.

4. All winning schools will be accountable to provide requested documentation prior to being awarded.

5. Recycling data will be reported in pounds. Weights will be tracked on a weekly basis (Monday–Sunday) and reported by Friday of the following week. Only recycling generated by the school may be counted. Outside sources such as public drop-off or materials generated in the home are not permitted.

6. Every school must submit either your hauler service agreement showing recycling services are being provided, or weight tickets to verify data inputted for competition. Schools who do not provide either documentation will not be considered for the competition.

The following eight categories of recyclable materials will be included in the California K-12 School Recycling Challenge:

1. Paper:

Boxboard / chipboard (cereal boxes), Catalogs. Hard and softbound books, Junk mail, Magazines, Newspaper, School or office paper (all colors), Books

2. Corrugated Cardboard:

Cardboard boxes

3. California Refund Value (CRV) Plastic & Aluminum Containers:

Includes any of the following liquid, ready-to-drink products in plastic containers you would find on at your school.


Scrap metal collected from vocational-technical or shop classes.

5. Milk and Juice Cartons:

Milk and Juice Cartons can be collected by volume of 33, 64, or 96 gallon cart. Milk and Juice Cartons may also be added to Composting Material.

6. Food Service Organics:

Pre and post-consumer food waste that is composted, Compostable service ware, napkins, paper plates etc. that are composted.

7. Comingled – Single Stream Mixed Recyclable Materials:

Any of the materials listed under Paper, CRV, Corrugated Cardboard and other materials such as non CRV containers and plastic items labeled 1-7 allowed in your local mixed single stream-recycling containers. Composting is not an allowed item for this category.

8. Total Combined Weight for Individual Schools:

Total weight of all dry recyclable materials and organics combined.

9. Total Combined Weight for School Districts: (Recycling plus compost)

Total weight of all dry recyclable materials and organics combined for a school district.

10. Comingled – Single Stream Mixed Recyclable Materials for District

Entering Competition Materials Data

Actual weights of recyclables should always be used.  If entering information according to volume; weights will be automatically calculated by the form using the conversion factors on the spreadsheet linked below.  Weight tickets can be uploaded using the data submission form.

Commodity Weights

Volume estimates must be based on actual observed quantities. For instance, a three yard dumpster of cardboard must be observed to be full, or a visual determination of how full it is must be made by using

1 – full or increments of .75, .5, & .25 , simply reporting based on capacity of the container without observed quantities is not allowed.


The per capita results for the categories are determined by dividing a school’s weekly recycling weights by its student, staff and faculty population. When you register make sure the use the standardized information for the number of students, staff and faculty to give a total number of people at that location or district. This will be verified prior to presentation of awards with state educational entities.


Targeted Materials Categories
Highest Per Capita Weights

First Prize = $1,000

Second Prize = $500

Third Prize = $350

Fourth Prize = $250

Fifth Prize = $100

Targeted Materials Categories
Highest Total Weight for Targeted Items

First Prize = $1,000

Second Prize = $500

Third Prize = $350

Fourth Prize = $250

Fifth Prize = $100



Keep the Cap On