Local Hero


Administrative Services Supervisor

Custodial Department

CWMA and the City of Visalia would like to thank Jose Llamas for his efforts in bringing recycling and cafeteria food composting to Visalia Unified School District schools.

2013 – Recycling is Introduced to Visalia Schools Jose Llamas, along with the City of Visalia Natural Resource Conservation Technician Nathan Garza were instrumental in implementing the District’s recycling program. Waste assessments were conducted at all schools, operation yard, and administration offices. The assessment helped determine the types of collection containers were best suited for inside the buildings, the types of outside waste collection bins and established bin service frequency.

Since the logistics of source separating recyclables was new to custodial staff, Mr. Llamas took it upon himself to train the facility staff and 11 traveling custodial staff teams. Each school’s custodial staff is outfitted with a recycling and trash container cart, making it easier for staff to keep the recyclables separate from trash. Mr. Llamas purchased blue recycling cans for every classroom.

Mr. Llamas has also implemented a Battery Collection Program at each school, making it convenient for parents and staff to dispose of their household batteries. So far…1,673 pounds of batteries have been collected!

Cafeteria Food Composting Increases Waste Diversion at Visalia Schools

Mr. Llamas and Mr. Garza teamed up again in late 2014 to implement the first food composting pilot program at Shannon Ranch and Mineral King Elementary Schools.

2014 – Food Composting Expands to VUSD’s Northwest Sector Schools

On December 8, 2014, the Cafeteria Food Composting Program was introduced to Hurley Elementary School. On hand to demonstrate the program were Jose Llamas, Hurley Elementary Principal Stephanie Gendron and Custodian Jess Alderete, Nutritional VUSD Services Director Regina Ocampo, Field Operations Supervisor Dan Mitchell, and Mr. Garza.

2015 – Cafeteria Food Composting Expanding to All Schools

Beginning in early 2015, Cafeteria Food Composting will be introduced to the remaining sectors schools.


If you would like to nominate a person or business that should be recognized for promoting recycling or food composting, please email: