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Zero Waste
Zero Waste

Trash - Schools

Colleges and universities, public charter schools, and private schools are responsible for contracting their own trash hauling services unless otherwise specified in a lease agreement.

For DC Public Schools (DCPS), the trash hauling services are contracted by the Department of General Services (DGS) and standardized supplies are provided through the DCPS Recycles! program.

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DCPS Recycles! Contact DCPS:

What Goes in the Trash?

The following materials are listed as trash because they are not accepted by the majority of the recycling facilities. Read below to see which of these materials can be recycled or composted through other means of collection and recovery. 

  • Plastic bags, wrap, and film of any kind
    • Click here to learn how to recycle these items at store drop-offs.
Picture of a large black plastic bag full of materials, grocery shopping bag, bread bag, and beverage case wrap
  • Chip bags
  • Candy wrappers
  • Condiment packets 
Chip bag wrapper, mustard packet, chocolate bar wrapper 
  • Food waste
    • Food waste can be composted if your building participates in organics collection.
Food scraps and half eaten sandwich in a foil paper 
  • Items smaller than 2"x2"
    • Plastic utensils
    • Straw
    • Portion cups 
Plastic utensils, plastic straw, portion cups 
  • Juice and flexible pouches
Flexible pouches 
  • Foam
Foam Polystyrene blocks, peanuts, tray, to-go container, and cup 
  • Diapers and personal sanitary products
  • Wet wipes (do not flush) 
  • Tissues, napkins & paper towels
    • Tissues, napkins, and paper towels can be composted if your building participates in organics collection.
Used diaper, wet wipe, napkins 
  • Clothing and textiles
    • Consider donating or selling these materials if they are in good condition (dry and odorless). As a last resort, place them in the trash. 
Stack of clothing, blanket, towels 


What Doesn't Belong in Trash OR Recycling?

Click here to learn how to dispose of these Special Waste items.

For student residents living on a college or university campus, please click here for information on Special Waste items.

  • Electronics
  • Batteries
  • Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Paint

Electronics, batteries and chargers, fluorescent light bulb, motor oil, paint buckets