For Our


Total Collective Educational Touchpoints for 2022: 3,221,950


OC Waste & Recycling and Discovery Cube OC continue to
support the mission of both organizations through a series
of hands-on educational exhibits, programs, and activities
for residents. This year 2022 marked a 10-year milestone generating environmental awareness and recycling best practices.

92% of guests said they would now consider packaging in their purchasing decision to minimize waste

91% of visitors said they recycle regularly

82% were familiar with what organic waste includes

81% would consider composting or participating in a composting program after visiting
the exhibits

2022 survey results highlights of 1,362 guests surveyed within the Eco Challenge exhibits

Orange County Department
of Education

OCWR and the Orange County Department of Education brought waste diversion education directly into classrooms through standards-based curriculum for teachers, receiving the 2022 NACo award for curriculum-based outreach. The focus for 2022 was expanding programs to all grade levels. In addition, a concerted effort was made to promote the resources among educators through school science nights, Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) meetings, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings, summer camps and through district communications portals.

Expanded curriculum to all
K-12 grade levels

3,098 participants this year

92 classrooms

100% of teachers surveyed stated
they would use the lesson materials again

Orange County

Select your district to
see which schools are
participating in your area.


OC Waste & Recycling renewed partnerships with
Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club.
Through these programs, the County is leading efforts
to regionalize environmental stewardship among
students, educators, and schools.

The new programs support OCWR in-classroom
curricula with the Orange County Department of Education in the form of education materials, scholarships, assemblies, field trips and waste diversion education incentives.


OCWR supports community events and outreach
opportunities throughout the County. These include
event booths, summer school programs, outreach materials,
community clean-up events and more. Through community
engagement, our teams were able to report on residential
awareness specific to new organics recycling education and
provide resources to answer their many questions.

31 events supported with outreach
41,098 touchpoints

The OCWR-OCDE partnership opened the door to bring waste diversion
education directly into classrooms as part of a comprehensive approach to
standards-based instruction. With diverse ways to flexibly use the curriculum,
the materials provide outstanding educational value to local educators, while
simultaneously meeting goals for waste diversion education.

— Orange County Department of Education

The long-term benefits to the environment and teaching children they can make
a daily difference were well worth it. I can also say how much I learned and made
changes because of this lesson sequence.


— Orange County Department of Education Teacher.

I think everything in the lesson sequence is pertinent to our time, supported by
changes that we will see coming to our city.

— Orange County Department of Education Teacher.

Students loved learning about the animals, goats and falcons. They were interested
in how many ways OCWR works to protect the environment. I don’t think they
realized what a big deal this was…but the idea of organic waste and how much
ends up in the landfill was new for them.

— Orange County Department of Education Teacher.

Through onsite programming and outreach, OC Waste & Recycling and Discovery Cube OC have provided our community with hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educational programming and activities. The unique and innovative programs the Cube and the County have co-developed help residents understand their role in the waste stream and learn about reducing waste in our landfills, especially compostable waste.

— Discovery Cube OC


In 2022, OCWR procured more than $3.3 million from the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery - CalRecycle. Grant funds will cover costs associated with the following projects:

  • Phase IB expansion of Bee Canyon Greenery
  • Increase edible food recovery at John Wayne Airport
  • Provide food scrap containers for OC Unincorporated areas
  • Allow OCWR to purchase compliance software to aid in SB 1383 implementation

Organics Grant Program


Edible Food Recovery
Grant Program


SB 1383 Local
Assistance Grant

Abound Food Care is grateful for the grant funds provided by OC Waste & Recycling. This allowed Abound Food Care to grow our innovative program and support numerous organizations and those experiencing food insecurity. Abound was able to lease a refrigerated vehicle to assist in increasing food donations to community food pantries safely. We were able to provide food recovery supplies needed by food pantries, screen for food insecurity at several hospitals and resource centers, and educate the community and businesses on the importance and benefits of diverting excess edible food from landfills. With the help of this grant, Abound Food Care and our food recovery partners have recovered over 138 million pounds of excess edible food and screened over 450,000 patients for food insecurity, directing those in need to community resources.

— Mike Learakos, Abound Food Care, Grant Recipient

OCWR's fourth cycle of the regional waste diversion grant has played a pivotal role in providing funding for education outreach programs, organics recycling and edible food recovery. Our grant recipients, including non-profit organizations, schools, cities and special districts accomplished the following in 2022:

Tons of Edible
Food Recovered




Commerical Businesses Assisted with Commercial Compliance


Tons of Organic
Material Collected

HHWCC Provide
Convenient Solution

Improperly disposing of household hazardous waste
poses risks to both the environment and the workers
who handle it. Items that require special care should
not go in trash or recycling carts, and hazardous
liquids should never go down the drain. The County’s
household hazardous materials collection began in
1985 and today, Orange County has one of the most
efficient household hazardous waste collection
programs in California with four facilities across
Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Irvine
and San Juan Capistrano.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers
(HHWCC) provide free services for Orange County
residents, offering a convenient drive-up, hands-free
experience for those needing to safely dispose of
household hazardous waste, including common
chemicals, batteries, pesticides, paints, automotive
fluids and electronic waste.

Free Items from MEP

In addition to dropping off materials, County residents can also pick up items for free at the collection centers through our Materials Exchange Program (MEP). New or partially used products for household, yard and car care include items such as paint, chlorine, motor oil and cleaning substances.

Irvine resident Victor is no stranger to the MEP
program. As a driver by trade, he is very familiar
with the four HHWCC locations. He says that before
he goes to the store to purchase new chemicals,
he will visit the MEP first to check and see if items
are available. He usually looks for cleaning supplies.
He even utilized paint from the MEP to add some
color to his kitchen.

Events Going

OCWR held several events in 2022 utilizing social media as an affordable advertising option. The promotions generated substantial traction, serving as a key component
driving attendance. The Marine Flare Collection Event was
shared by more than 20 organizations including: US Coast
Guard Council, California Boating & Waterways, Orange
County Fire Authority, Orange County Sheriff’s Department,
The Fishing Wire and more.

The inaugural Compost Giveaway at Frank R. Bowerman
landfill and the county-wide giveaway at all three active
landfills also generated high numbers of social media
shares. Social support spanned Districts 1 – 5, CalRecycle,
OC Health Care Agency, Cal State Fullerton, OCCE Master
Gardeners and 15 cities across the county.

Instagram 43%
Facebook 27.2%
Twitter 15.1%

Year-Over-Year Increases

OCWR social media experienced growth on all platforms, increasing impressions
and followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.