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Start a School Recycling Program


Recycling teaches kids important lessons about the environmental impact of everyday life. Incorporating recycling into school life helps kids think about their role in creating a sustainable environment for future generations.

Getting kids recycling is easier than they may think. Here are some steps to start a school recycling program or to support existing recycling.

School Recycling Starts at Administration

Starting a school recycling program is much easier with the support of the administration, so that should be the first stop. Funding a recycling project can be difficult as wellGetting kids into recycling provides a valuable scientific and environmental learning experience for everyone involved, something any administration could get behind.

Assess the Need for Recycling at School

A good early step in creating a school recycling program is an audit to identify the quantity and types of waste in each part of the school—classrooms, offices, cafeterias, libraries, and so on. This assessment eventually will help identify where the school’s recyclables are generated.

Get Kids Recycling the Right Materials

When creating a school recycling program, it’s important to determine which materials are accepted for recycling in the area.

Create a Kids’ Recycling Team

A student recycling coordinator and support team could help implement the school recycling program, and it is an effective way to encourage all students to recycle. Or an after-school recycling club including faculty and parents could work with the school custodial staff to create a collection system and encourage participation.

Make Recycling Bins Easy to Find and Use

To make it as easy as possible for students and faculty to recycle, recycling containers should look different than trash bins and be just as widely available. Adding pictures of recyclables— plastic bottles, paper, aluminum cans—on or near the school recycling containers helps everyone identify the right place for the right recyclables.

Those are some basic steps to create a school recycling program, although every program is different. Recycling can and should be part of every school, business and home—and starting as kids is a great way to instill this ethic.


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