Recycling has become such an important industry in helping our economy and environment to thrive. Many people may not notice the direct effects their recycling efforts have on the communities around them, but the impact is significant enough that we should take care in  teaching future generations to carry on the movement. Cities everywhere are having multiple recycling centers pop up in their neighborhoods, but it’s only natural that creating one in your everyday surroundings would have a bigger effect on your social responsibility. That’s why setting up a recycling center in schools will generate a way for younger environmentalists to get more involved on their own turf.

VOCABULARY 180Benefits of School Recycling

The benefits of organizing a recycling center and program at local schools are numerous, and  it’s necessary for students and faculty to understand what they are in order to make sure it is successful. Recycling saves energy, reduces the waste in our landfills, cuts down on the raw materials needed to make new products and decreases the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. A specific advantage that a recycling center would bring to schools is the actual ability to retain money, which there is a great need for in public schools these days. Schools are required to pay for trash disposal but may be given a break on costs for attempts at a greener lifestyle. The amount of money used for purchasing everyday materials can also be lowered by cutting down on and reusing supplies.

Involving Students

Involving the students in developing a recycling center at school will help them to get more excited about the idea. It will also give teachers the perfect opportunity to incorporate environmental education into their lesson plans. Projects and assignments that deal with current events, economics, recycling laws and community services can lead to real-life acts of social responsibility. Children learn by example, and a recycling center can be a great way for them to become more conscientious of preserving Mother Earth and teaching others around them to do the same. 

Steps for Establishing a Recycling Center

After you realize all the areas of a school that can take advantage of recycling, like the cafeteria, teacher’s lounges and offices, copy rooms, classrooms, computer rooms and libraries, you will need to decide where to set up the recycling center. A central location may be best in accommodating all the different rooms. Then, research should be conducted to find out what are considered to be acceptable recycling materials in your community and establish everything that will be recycled in the school. Bins for each type of item will need to be set up so everything can be separated easily. It would be most effective to have a management team put into place to oversee the maintenance and make sure everything runs smoothly. Organizing an advertising campaign within the school can help to ensure that all students and faculty are aware of the new recycling center and its location.

Establishing a school recycling center shouldn’t be too difficult to do, and you will see the benefits of it for years and years into the future.

Tiffany Olson hails from Northern California and considers herself a passionate recycler. While serving in AmeriCorps in Washington D.C. she helped an elementary school start a recycling program and now loves to educate others about the process. She also avidly supports her local recycling center.


READ MORE – How Environmentally Friendly Is Your Classroom?