Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Marv Abrams, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Cheryl Sjostrom, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Goold, Ed.D.


The focus of this mixed-methods study was to identify waste reduction strategies that reduced the impact of California jails and prisons on the environment through waste diversion and reduction. This study also sought to identify barriers that hindered jail and prison personnel from developing such strategies, and pursued recommendations on how those barriers could be overcome. This study provides examples of organizations currently reducing waste through strategic initiatives and highlighted areas where jails and prisons could begin or further improve waste diversion practices. The study utilized archival data, a web-based survey, and interviews for data collection and analysis. The findings concluded, California state-operated prisons and sheriff-operated county jails are using two primary strategies to divert waste from landfills. The number one strategy is recycling. The second strategy is waste prevention and material reuse. The barriers identified by California state-operated prisons and sheriff operated county jails included finding vendors to collect certain materials as well as finding vendors to travel to remote locations. Other barriers included a lack of personnel and in some instances a lack of knowledge. Sheriff-operated jails and state-operated prisons in California identified waste management program support from leadership as a primary method to eliminate or reduce barriers to implementing a waste reduction program.