Recycling now is more important than it’s ever been. We can all make small differences in our daily lives that add up to create bigger, positive changes. Especially in the classroom!
The average secondary school produces 22kg of waste per pupil each academic year. The figure for primary schools is even higher at 45kg per pupil – this can be a little hard to visualise so just to put it into perspective, 22kg is the equivalent a 4 year old child and 45kg weighs as much as a 42" LCD flat screen TV!
The top waste products produced from schools are food and paper/card, both of which are, of course, incredibly recyclable.
For primary school children you could make it a (friendly!) completion of who can recycle the most of their food wrappers (especially those with packed lunches). With arts and craft activities ensuring all scraps go in the correct recycling bin. Helping children to understand the importance recycling at a young age will let them carry that knowledge with them as they grow up and even pass it onto their friends, peers and their own families later in life.
For younger students, bold and colourful bins are a fantastic way to get them exciting about recycling. Adding signage to your bins is a great way to promote your recycling programme and educate students and ensures material is sorted properly.
Having clearly labelled or colour coded bins in Secondary schools around the canteen areas and hallways helps to deter students from cramming all litter in the general waste bins. Encourage students to reuse water bottles or even purchase their own hydro-flasks if they’re able to! These are available at most high street shops such as Primark or Wilko, or even more cheaply online.
Teaching how food waste is used to create fertiliser to help produce more food or energy to power our homes gives students a greater understanding of the importance and need to recycle as much as they can.