Recycling in schools

Involving teachers and children in recycling schemes and other activities to improve the environment can be a lot of fun. Educating children about the importance of recycling and the environment provides a path to a greener future. This section concentrates on recycling schemes and suggests recycling activities for the pupils.

Recycling Schemes

There are almost 34,000 schools in the UK and they play a vital role in dealing with waste. Recycling schemes in schools help to improve the environment and can reduce money spent by the school on waste disposal.

Paper Recycling

  • Paper is the main form of waste created by schools, making up at least a quarter of all its rubbish.
  • Contact your local council and ask them to provide your school with a paper-recycling bin.
  • Set up a paper collection scheme for each classroom by making ‘paper only’ boxes for the children and teachers to put used paper in. Make sure they are clearly labelled and placed in an obvious place.
  • Involve pupils by allowing them to create posters and bright labels for the recycle bins.
  • Brief the teachers about the recycling scheme and hold assemblies to inform the pupils.
  • Make sure that the teachers and staff understand the importance of recycling, and this should filter down to the pupils.

Metal Recycling

  • Metal recycling schemes are good for schools with vending machines.
  • Contact your local council and ask them to provide your school with a recycling bin for cans.
  • Place the bins next to the vending machines and make sure they are clearly labelled.
  • Make sure that both teachers and pupils understand on the importance of recycling.
  • Find out if there is a ‘cash for cans’ program running in your area.
  • Buy recycled print cartridges whenever possible.

Composting Scheme

  • Contact your local council who may be able to provide a compost bin for your school, in some cases, compost bins are provided free of charge. Your councils recycling officer will be able to advise you further.
  • Teachers and children can be involved in making the compost by adding items such as tea bags, coffee granules, fruit and vegetable cuttings from the cafeteria.
  • If your school has a garden, then you can add leaves, plant cuttings and grass trimmings to the compost heap.

Educational Activities

There are a number of fun activities for pupils that will educate them about recycling and its importance to the environment. Below are some suggestions of activities that can be carried out in school:

  • Role Plays are a good way of allowing children to express their opinions on recycling and encourage debate.
  • Word search puzzles allow the pupils to explore the different terms related to recycling.
  • Name that symbol is a game where pupils can become familiar with recycling symbols.
  • Arts and crafts are an excellent way of recycling materials, and can demonstrate to the pupils that recycling can be fun.
  • The magnetism test of aluminium and steel cans can aid in teaching the pupils about different recyclable materials.
  • Questionnaires allow the pupils to use their brain to show what they know about recycling.
  • Discussions. Hold class discussions that allow pupils to express their opinions on recycling.

Activities For Schools

Have a go at our range of recycling activities.

  • Making an Elastic Band Guitar
  • Making a Croc-Monster
  • Making a Drum
  • Making a Shaker
  • Finding keywords in our Wordsearch

Click here to go to our Activities page.