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School recycling project provides children and young people with

hands-on experience that helps them grow to see that efforts to cut the

wasteful use of resources does make a difference. A variety of proactive

activities can be used to teach children to take responsibility for keeping

the Earth cleaner and to learn to help the environment for a better future.

According to the U.S. EPA, recycling:

 conserves natural resources to help sustain the environment;

 reduces the need for landfilling and incineration;

 saves energy and prevents pollution caused by the extraction and

processing of virgin materials.

Why Implement School Recycling Project?

School recycling project is initiated by the schools and usually

focuses on three key areas:

 better resource management;

 cultivate student achievement;

 reduction of waste.

Recycling is necessary to reduce waste in homes, schools and work

places. On average, each Brazilian generates about 1.152 kilo of trash daily!

That does not sound like much until you do the math. That's half of a ton in

just one year! Multiply that times many years that person lives and the

numbers are astounding.

It's easy to stick our heads in the sand, put the trash out to the

curb each week and have it taken away. Out of sight, out of mind.
A school recycling project can help make children aware of where all

that trash goes and the fact that it is ‘go’, doesn't just ‘go away’. It's

important to bring landfills to the attention of future generations, because

they are the ones that will have to live with the consequences.


Teaching about landfills and recycling is a great opportunity to show

children a better way. It's an opportunity to let them know that 80 percent

of the trash filling our landfills actually could be recycled and the materials

used to manufacture new products. With budget cuts, some schools may

worry about implementing another program, but recycling at the school

level offers the children a practical lesson and it can be both affordable

and efficient and in some cases even generate funds to help support the


School Recyclables

Among items recycled school items, paper is the most significant

cost-saving waste reduction. Just think of how much paper a school uses.
As a result, paper makes up 50 to 60 percent of school waste. The
advantage to paper is that it can be either reused or recycled. When paper
is used on both sides and fully as scratch paper or for making copies, school
paper costs drop dramatically.
Before you read the following list, it's important to note that your
garbage company is the one who will determine what materials your school
can recycle. You can ask them about the following materials popularly
 Scrap Paper: used bond paper, used computer paper, old notebooks,
old books, old newspapers, periodicals, other newsprints, cartons and
cardboards, colored (assorted) waste paper etc.
 Glass Bottles: beer, softdrinks, catchup, glass cullets (bubog) etc.
 Plastics: PET – mineral water bottles, softdrinks, plastic cups,
basins, containers, hard plastic, CD cases etc.
 Metals: tin and aluminum cans, metal frames, stainless etc.
 Used Oil: used engine oil, used cooking oil
 Others: tetrapacks.

How to Start


 do a survey of how many people are involved (students and employees);

 check the amount of garbage generated daily and determine a place to

store recyclables until they are collected;

 determine where the recyclable material will be sent: if it will be

donated to a cooperative of scavengers, whether it is sold, who will

collect and how often. Do not start a selective collection program

without knowing where to send the material;

 do only selective collection of material that can be sent to recycling.

Don’t separate materials that the cooperative has to sell them or throw

them in the trash;

 develop a communication program of selective collection and community

mobilization, that everyone knows how and why to participate.


 find the necessary equipment;

 train the people involved with the school recycling (cleaning personnel,

employees, students, for example);

 start the communication and mobilization campaign;

 inaugurate the school recycling program with an event (party, lecture).

Keeping the School Recycling ‘Alive’

 follow up the collection of recyclables, its storing, and its donation;

 make a periodic review of the school recycling program and disseminate

the results to the community;

 always continue the mobilization program.

Hands-on Activities for Students

Hands-on recycling activities are a great opportunity to engage

students in learning life skills. In the process, students will have to use

their math skills, as well as science, social studies and communication skills.

It's a great way to build teamwork and problem-solving skills.

CELLEP Recycling Project


 people involved: teachers, students, secretaries, and cleaners;

 quality/amount of garbage generated weekly:

 paper to be discarded from classroom use, teachers’ room use, and

secretary use;

 cans, tetrapack, and plastic cups from the snack bar (rinsed and


 cleaning products packs (rinsed and dried).

 places to store recyclables:

 2 or 3 cardboard boxes (reused from the supermarket) decorated by

the children: one in the snack bar area, another near the restrooms,

and the third one near the director’s office.

 the recyclable material will be donated to ‘Cooperativa Reciclador

Solidário’, in Piracicaba, contact: 3427-1004. The recyclables will be

collected every Wednesdays during the morning period. In case the

collecting truck does not show up on Wednesday, the cooperative must

be informed immediately.

 the communication program of selective collection and school

mobilization comprises: posters and leaflets prepared by the children.


 necessary equipment: 2-3 cardboard boxes (reused from the

 train the people involved with the school recycling: a brief talk with the

secretaries and the cleaning personnel; activities to be developed with

the students.

 inaugurate the school recycling program with an event, a party.

Keeping the School Recycling ‘Alive’

 follow up the collection of recyclables, its storing, and its donation;

 make a periodic review of the school recycling program and disseminate

the results to the school. The results can be disseminated by numbers of

cardboard boxes collected every Wednesday. The results will be shown

in tables (graphics) in the snack bar area and in the classroom for the

students follow the collection up.

 continuous mobilization program will be done by talking to the people

involved from time to time. The students will be stimulated to continue

by doing ‘fast’ activities in class (attached).

Responsible for the Project: Ana Cláudia Alves.

April 2011.