Trash Free Schools

What does it mean to be Trash Free?

Trash Free does not necessarily mean that no trash is produced. Being a Trash Free School means you have signed the Pledge and are actively working on reducing school waste in a long-lasting, sustainable manner.

The Trash Free Schools Project works to educate and empower students, faculty, and staff to reduce their school’s waste footprint by providing education and resources, including a comprehensive Guidebook, to aid in rethinking, reducing, reusing, and recycling. As part of the project, students and staff at K-12 schools will have the resources needed to investigate an environmental issue while implementing a strong waste reduction and litter prevention strategy.

According to the EPA, the average American throws away 4.43 pounds of trash each day, wasting valuable resources that could have been reused, recycled, or conserved. Disposable items, such as plastic bottles and food wrappers, are commonly littered, finding their way into our streets then into our waterways, where they threaten the health of our communities and our environment (read more here). Make a commitment to reducing waste through our Trash Free Schools project and begin addressing this important issue, one that everyone can play a role in solving.

How Can Your School Benefit?

  • Create an active and environmentally-aware school culture by increasing participation and engagement among the school body.
  • Foster environmental stewardship through student action by teaching the process of how to recognize, investigate, and take action on an environmental issue.
  • Gain recognition as an environmental leader among schools and establish a starting point for other “green” certification programs.
  • Integrate waste reduction and environmental themes into lessons and curricula.
  • Provide a great service learning opportunity for students.

Interested in having your school participate in this program? Learn how to get involved.


Past and Current School Participants

Many of these schools participate in our School Yards as Classrooms project  You can read more about them here. 

District of Columbia

  • Aiton Elementary School
  • Anne Beers Elementary School
  • Burrville Elementary School
  • Houston  Elementary School
  • Kimball Elementary School
  • Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School
  • Nannie Helen Burroughs Elementary School
  • Patterson Elementary School
  • Harriet Tubman Elementary School
  • Sunshine Early Learning Center
  • Washington Math and Science Tech Public Charter
  • Watkins Elementary School


  • Accokeek Academy
  • Cedar Grove Elementary
  • Cesar Chavez Elementary School
  • Forest Heights Elementary School
  • Indian Head Elementary School 
  • Milwood After School Community Center
  • Mount Ranier Elementary School
  • Phyllis E. Williams Elementary School
  • Suitland Elementary School
  • Thomas Stone Elementary School
  • Walker Mill Middle School