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Burbank Waste Warrior Program

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The 2020 class sign up period is closed.  Registration for the 2021 Waste Warriors will open in early November, 2020. 


The Burbank Recycle Center Wants YOU to become a Zero Waste Super Hero!  Join the Army of passionate residents to better understand our consumption based, disposable economy and the growing problems packaging is causing.  

Recycle Center Logo Superman recycler

Become a Waste Warrior and Help Your Community!

Burbank Waste Warriors is a volunteer training program for people who want to learn more about zero waste concepts and how to engage with their community, improve the environment, and shape the future.

The program involves seven diverse classes that cover all aspects of Zero Waste, including the 6 R’s of waste reduction:

  • Refuse (say no!)

  • Reduce (do I need it?)

  • Reuse (donate or repurpose it)

  • Recycle (sort it and send it on )

  • Rot (compost)

  • Rethink (redesigning our systems, habits and mindsets)

All classes are FREE!  Classes include hands on projects, tours, guest speakers and instruction from professionals at the Burbank Recycle Center. Class schedules, class prep homework, and communications will go through a project management tool, Slack(NOTE: You will be required to sign up for Slack and communicate through that program. We can walk you through this if needed.)


Class prep includes reading and watching videos about upcoming class topics to give you a primer, along with a interesting special research project.  There is no grading or examination--students get out of these exercises what they are willing and able to put into them.  Every pre-class activity is designed for personal learning and awareness.

Graduates of the Waste Warrior program will have attended all eight courses, PLUS performed 30 hours of volunteer work or individual projects that focus on waste reduction, thoughtful consumption, composting or recycling.

 2020 Class schedule: 8 classes, plus a bonus event

(All classes will be held at the Burbank Recycle Center, 500 S. Flower Street, unless there is a tour or special engagement):

 WW 2020 final pamphlet (page 1)

 Waste Warrior Program 2020 Pamphlet 3rd draft-02


PHASE ONE:  Classes and Course work

All Waste Warrior students will be required to sign up for SLACK, a free cloud-based proprietary instant messaging platform.  We use this for communication, updates, and class prep reading instead of email.  

Class homework involves reading and conducting one corporate "green" analysis.  

Saturday, January 11th 9a-3p: Class 1: Recycling 101: There’s No Such Thing as “Away”

In order to understand recycling and waste, it is best to dive right in!  We will start with a tour of the City of Burbank’s Recycling Facility and then perform a waste audit to really examine what society is throwing “away”.  Course includes an introduction to Zero Waste, sustainability, the Waste Hierarchy, materials overview, storm water pollution, and planning individual volunteer projects.

Wednesday, January 22nd  6p-8:30p:  Class 2:  Single Use--Multiple Impacts:  Resources and Materials

We will examine the complexities of our modern conveniences and throw away society--especially how this is taxing our resources.  You will gain the knowledge and tools to help decipher whether “green” marketing claims are legit.  Course includes packaging, resource depletion and management, plastic resins, and an examination of materials and commodities markets that keep recycling afloat.

Saturday, February 1st 9a-1p:  Class 3: Power to the Plants:  Getting Organics out of Landfill 

Nothing in Nature goes to waste, so why is waste a man-made invention?  Organics (plants) in landfill is a misallocation of valuable resources; the movement to reverse this is starting in the State of California.  Learn the future of how green waste (yard clippings) and food scraps will be used to power us, create healthy soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Course includes organics basics, state mandatory organics recycling policy (AB 1826), enhancing soils, methane mitigation and capture, food waste prevention, water harvesting and composting.

Wednesday, February 12th 6p-8:30p: Class 4:Toxins Amongst Us:  Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), electronics and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Our modern conveniences, technology and short cuts make life easier, but at what price? You’ll see what happens to these products when we discard them. Course includes HHW and electronics recycling, toxins management, Product Stewardship, reuse and repair, and alternatives.

 Saturday, February 22nd  9a-1p:  Class 5: Consumption Graveyard:  Burbank Landfill Tour (field trip)

Did you know that Burbank residents own a landfill?  Come get the VIP treatment at one of the most well managed and scenic landfills in the county and see what happens when your trash is picked up and taken "away".

Wednesday, March 4th  6p-8:30p: Class 6: Business ReVolution:  Recycling and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Adopting sustainable business practices is challenge in a new age of mandated responsibility, complex supply chains, global markets, social media watchdogs, and changing consumer expectations.  Course covers commercial recycling, state laws, CSR, consumer trends, financial incentives and environmentally preferred purchasing ideas.

Saturday, March 14th  9a-1pm  Class 7:  Rethink Trash as Treasure:  Reuse and Repair Tour (field trip)

Recycling is good but reuse is so much better!  We will visit different models of reuse in the business and non-profit world and you’ll discover that much of what we discard is actually useful to someone else.  Course includes the basics of “reduce, reuse, re-imagine”: creative reuse, repairing and repurposing, sharing, and renting.

Saturday, March 28th  9a-1p: Class 8: Leadership Challenge:  Using Your Skills for Local Action

Throughout the Waste Warrior courses, participants will be designing programs and actions that they can apply to their own initiatives and volunteer efforts.  This session will be helping you finalize your own personal project. We will also be assigning each student their role in helping with a Burbank Recycle Center outreach project.


Meet former graduates of the Waste Warrior program (formerly called Master Recycler) while enjoying a zero waste dinner and an insightful documentary on an important waste issue. Great opportunity to network, share, and find kindred spirits from previous classes that care about the same issues you do.


Final Requirement:

PHASE TWO:  Group project and community volunteering (April-October)

Taking your new skills and putting them to work on a fulfilling group project for the Burbank Recycle Center, as well as any personal project you may have. (30 hours total)

Bonus Opportunities:

Alumni Meet and Greets:  To keep our newly minted Waste Warriors motivated and informed, current Waste Warriors and alumni of the program will get together to share their experiences, information and updates on their projects.  Special speakers, community clean up events and even environmental documentary screenings will be part of the mix.  Great networking opportunity with kindred eco-spirits!

Volunteering with Burbank Recycle Center:  Occasionally, Burbank Recycle Center will request help with a special event or project.  Our Waste Warriors are dependable, loyal and enthusiastic citizens that are always willing to pitch in, and we appreciate their assistance when available.

Registration Here:  Hurry, class size is limited.  Preference will be given to Burbank residents and employees of Burbank businesses.

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