Be Last To Join In: Recycle Today
- Adapted from Recycling Makes
Sen$e For Your School, Pennsylvania Resources Council
- Back to Trash Goes To School
- GRADE LEVELS: 7-8
- SUBJECT AREAS:
Planning, organizing, and implementing a paper recycling program.
To implement recycling in your school system.
containers or bins for collecting
waste reduction, implementation
- Why recycle?
- * Conserves energy and natural resources.
* Creates public awareness of conservation needs.
* Gives students hands-on experience with a small business.
* Provides a solution to the problem of litter and solid waste
- 1. Organize an initial research committee
to find out:
- a. The interest level within the school
b. The amount of help you can count on from teachers - preferably
those who have been involved with recycling, e.g., paper drive
for Scouts and churches.
c. The possible cooperation of the principal, and his or her
willingness for school-wide participation. It is essential to
the success of your program to get the support of the custodial
staff as well.
- d. What activities students are already
involved in and how much time they can devote (study halls, after
school, weekends) to recycling.
e. What materials can be recycled in school and in the community.
f. What students know about recycling.
- 2. Research your market (where can
you sell recyclables nearby, and what are they paying?)
- a. Contact scrap dealers and other
buyers of recyclables.
b. Find out what materials they accept, how they want them prepared,
the minimum quantities accepted, and how much they will pay for
c. Find out if they will provide containers or assist in transporting
d. Decide what materials you will collect.
e. Contact local government agencies that deal with solid waste
and recycling (e.g. Cooperative Extension, the Environmental
Management Council, the Solid Waste Division).
- 3. Determine equipment and facilities
needed and how much to fund them.
- a. Identify safe areas around the
school that could be used for collection and storage. Check fire
safety standards with the fire inspector.
b. Decide on one or two places where you can site your recycling
c. Investigate types of storage containers and bins, find out
where to get them.
d. Realize the starting cost (approx. $150)
e. Discuss preliminary fund raiser possibilities. Select and
- 4. Decide how the recycling operation
will be run.
- a. Will it be a drop-off center or
- If staffed, who will staff it?
Students or teachers?
Parental aid if permitted?
- b. How many people are needed?
c. What days will the center be open?
d. What will the hours be?
- 5. Write proposal for principal.
Include the information you have gathered from your committee's
- a. interest level
b. type of operation
c. location sites
d. staffing solution
- e. fund raising potential
- 6. Get school board approval if needed.
- a. If required, have committee write
a proposal for principal to submit to the school board.
b. Start with initial proposal given to the principal, include
all information again and be sure to list sources in school for
c. Important because...
- i. With school board approval, activity
has the status of a school function.
ii. As a school function, teachers are relieved of primary legal
- 7. Decide how recyclables will be collected.
- a. Talk to local collectors to find
out their requirements (e.g. how paper should be sorted, what
kinds of glass may be recycled, etc.).
b. Put a recycling box for clean scrap in classrooms and offices,
next to wastebaskets for other materials.
c. If there is a school store or soda machine, put containers
for aluminum cans next to the machines.
- 8. Develop a plan of operation.
- a. Choose a permanent committee of
- i. Include: roughly 10 teachers, 15-20
students, 1 administrator, (3-5 parents depending on school policy).
ii. Define responsibilities of the directors.
- b. Set procedures for students involved
in staffing the center.
c. Decide how to publicize the recycling program.
- 9. Present a plan to the faculty.
- a. After school board or principal
approval, at the next scheduled faculty meeting, hand out ditto
with detailed facts about the recycling center.
b. Explain how the recyclables are prepared.
c. Give a few remarks emphasizing the center's value to the school
d. Allow time for a question and answer session.
- 10. Present plan to the students.
- a. Hold an assembly to:
- i. show the need for recycling
ii. give information on other centers
iii. tell how the center is to work
iv. tell how they can help
- b. Have a peer teaching program to
keep people updated.
c. Announce (for a week) a meeting for all students interested
in helping at the center.
- 11. Publicize the program.
- a. Make sure students and staff are
educated and periodically updated about the program.
b. Schedule a poster contest with students.
c. Put information in the local paper (run a contest for the
best articles and have the winners published).
d. Never underestimate the power of "word-of-mouth"
- 12. Maintain reliability.
- a. Keep regular hours. Be open when
you are scheduled to be.
b. If your center is staffed, make certain volunteers are present
c. Make certain containers are available for collection and are
d. Keep your collection center tidy.
- 13. Evaluate the program.
- a. How much material is being collected?
- b. How much does it cost to run the
c. What problems have developed?
Expand your recycling operation
and encourage involvement by others from your school.
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