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Green Child Care Program

Alameda County, CA
Program Year: 2015

Sparked by a new County ordinance and a need for more cost-effective, healthy and sustainable practices for our County’s youngest children, the Alameda County General Services Agency Early Care and Education (ECE) Program launched the Green Child Care Program in 2011. After determining that 70 percent of a typical preschool’s waste stream is reusable, recyclable or compostable, the County developed practical and cost-saving strategies to divert waste from local landfills and educate teachers and preschool age children about the 4R's: reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. Since 2012, the Program has worked with 45 centers to divert over 300 tons of waste from the landfill. County interns often dressed up as “Rocky the Recycling Raccoon,” have educated over 600 teachers and 1,800 young children across the County and diverted 10 tons of waste for every dollar invested. We have reduced carbon emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 95 passenger cars and diverted more waste than 50 garbage trucks. As the only program of its kind in the state, Alameda County is now leading the nation in providing this level of technical assistance both in stewardship and environmental health and fostering our preschoolers as the next generation of environmental stewards.

Ms. Jennifer Chan
General Services Agency