Help Support BEC!

Help Our Work
Click Here

Stay Informed

Stay Connected

Top-Rated Nonprofit!

1% for the Planet

BEC is Member of EarthShare

You are here

BEC's Waste Reduction Education Program

The Recycling and Rubbish Education Program (RARE)

Read the 2020-2021 Annual Report Here

RARE is a Butte County-funded program at the Butte Environmental Council that aims to educate Butte County's community about the solid waste stream and the importance of the 4R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (compost)! The RARE program provides FREE educational workshops to all Butte County students, community groups, after-school programs, and/or clubs. Participants may choose a workshop focused on Recycling, Composting, or Auto Oil Recycling (for high school and college auto shop). RARE lessons are tailored to your specific age level, and are designed to be fun and engaging, while incorporating Education and the Environment (EEI) standards. Workshops are available in-class, outdoors, or over any virtual platform! We want to make it as easy as possible to continue learning from home which is why we have created RARE Activity Guides (listed below) which include downloadable lessons, videos, crafts, and worksheets! It's easy to reduce your waste, be creative, and have fun, all while learning about important ways to care for the Earth!



Learn what YOU can do to cut down on waste, prolong the life of the Neal Road Recycling and Waste Facility, and take care of our planet!

Click an icon below for more information about a specific RARE program

OR check out our Teacher's Resources Page to find worksheets, curriculum, and visuals for teaching the "Four R's".

classroom workshop oil recycling
Field Trips

More about RARE

The Recycling and Rubbish Education (RARE) program has been an innovative and successful county-wide, county-funded educational outreach program since 2001. RARE was originally facilitated by CSU Chico as an educational exhibit until 2012. In 2013, Butte Environmental Council was selected to carry on and improve the legacy. Following a 3 year hiatus from 2016-2019, RARE was brought back after 

RARE has developed various mobile educational materials which accompany the RARE facilitators as they visit 45 or more classrooms and 6 or more public outreach events each year, allowing us to greatly increase our education and engagement.

RARE in the News:

10/25/2020 Enterprise-Record — Rubbish Education Goes Virtual!
11/22/2013 OROVILLE Mercury Register — Grade-school children were full of questions and comments Thursday as they participated in a workshop on recycling at Bird Street School.  [Includes 3 short videos of RARE in action!]
11/3/2013 - Growing Up Chico -- When it comes to waste, “there is no away.” This is an important life lesson that the Butte Environmental Council hopes to impart to local students, teachers and community members with their new recycling education program.
9/12/2013 - Action News Now -- After being on hiatus for a year, a local recycling education program is making its way back to Butte County. Starting next month, the Butte Environmental Council will be traveling to schools to provide interactive workshops on waste reduction. [Includes video of news broadcast.]
9/3/2013 - Gridley Herald -- The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is excited to announce the return of RARE – The Recycling and Rubbish Education program. BEC Board of Directors president, Mark Stemen states, “For BEC, this recycling education program takes us back to our roots."

Community Resources:

Plastic Film Recycling:

Plastic film is not accepted in your curbside recycling bin, but it is still recyclable! Most large grocery stores have a place for you to deposit your plastic film to be recycled. Click here to find the drop-off location nearest you.




CRV Buyback

  As of August 2021, the last certified collection center in Chico stopped their CRV buyback program. Within the city of Chico, there are only in-store buyback options available. Click here to find the store nearest you to redeem your bottles and cans for payment.

Aside from in-store buyback, there are other recycling centers in Butte County that offer CRV buyback such as: Crown Metals - 530-533-7718 (Oroville), Guido's Recycling - 530-370-4541 (Gridley), Nor-Cal Recyclers - (530) 532-0262 (Oroville), Savior Earth Recylcing - 530-533-7272 (Oroville), Empire Steel - 530-533-3324 (Oroville).


Butte County Recycling: 

Click here to be redirected to, a website for all recycling information for Butte County. Including locations for drop-off of mattresses, e-waste, hazardous waste, tires, and more.

Contact Us


Office: (530) 891-6424