Let's Get Organized
(Adapted from Recycling: Mining Resources From Trash, Cornell Waste Management Institute)

SUBJECT AREAS: social studies, technology, and home economics

CONCEPT: What needs to be done to organize a collection system for recyclables?

OBJECTIVE: To teach organizational skills and involve youth in the planning of their school and home recycling project (if children participate they will have a vested interest in the program's success). To design a set-up for recyclables.

MATERIALS: paper, pencils, and ruler

KEYWORDS: recycling, brainstorming, disposal

BACKGROUND: Teaching youth to be organized and efficient is important. In the following activity, they will help set up a collection system that is efficient for students, teachers, and custodians.

PROCEDURE: Check with the recycling coordinator to see what items are being recycled in your area, then decide which one you want to collect. Have a brainstorming session to find the most efficient way to set up a recycling collection system. This discussion may center on the classroom, cafeteria, or other offices. You can sketch out your own designs and tell why your design will work well.

Further exploration: As a homework assignment or project have them design a system for their own homes.

FOLLOW-UP: Sketch a design of the recycling program in school or home. Include:
1. Which material will be collected?
2. What types and sizes of containers will be used? What will they cost?
3. Where will the containers be placed?
4. Who will collect the recyclables?
5. How often will they be collected? If collection occurs one time per week, you will need larger containers than if it occurs every day.
6. Where will the recyclables go after they are collected in school?
7. What kinds of products can they be made into?
8. Does your family buy those products?

Back to Solid Waste Activities Grades K-3

Cornell Waste Management Institute ©1991
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
Bradfield Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853