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How to Make Your School More Recycling Friendly

School Recycling

Many of us are making more of an effort to recycle at home now. More businesses are becoming eco-savvy. But what about schools? School recycling could make a huge difference to the fight against climate change. Here’s how.

Why Should My School Recycling?

There are over 32,000 schools in the UK. That’s a lot of recycling potential. There is also a lot to be said for educating children about climate change and how to protect the planet. There are so many benefits of making recycling a part of school life;

  • It teaches children good habits for the future. Young people who recycle now are more likely to continue to do so as adults;
  • Recycling in school paves the way for teaching children about other sustainability topics;
  • Schools can make a huge impact. According to Recycle Now, the average UK primary school produces 45kg of waste per pupil every year. An estimated 78% of this is recyclable or compostable;
  • School recycling can save schools money on waste management and disposal costs;

School Recycling: How to Make Your School More Sustainable

Start in the Canteen

For example, encourage pupils who bring in a packed lunch to make it as waste-free as possible. They could bring food and drinks in reusable drinks bottles and reusable lunch boxes. Try to eliminate excessive packaging and avoid single-use items in your canteen wherever possible.

Cut down on paper waste in the classroom

Schools use a lot of paper and not all of it gets reused or recycled. However starting to save paper is a great way to get started with school recycling in the classroom. Think about:

  • Printing or photocopying on both sides and only printing things out when it’s absolutely necessary;
  • Use scrap paper for notes and lists, but don’t just throw it away

Set Up Your School’s Version of eBay

How much equipment gets do you discard in school? How many items of furniture, electronic equipment, or even old ring binders get thrown or stored away? Why not create your own version of eBay? You could keep a database of any items that are going spare, then staff could check it when they need something. It saves money on buying brand-new items and rescues materials from landfill. Win-win.

Get Crafty with Packaging

When it comes to school recycling, don’t forget about reusing and repurposing things in fun ways. What do egg boxes, yoghurt pots, plastic bottles, and old Christmas cards have in common? They’re perfect for use in classroom art and craft projects. Think before you throw.

Start a compost Heap

Teach kids about nature and how things decompose by starting off a compost heap. It’s so easy to do, and turning children into future eco-warriors is not the only benefit. It’s a great way to get your school recycling organic waste and you’ll also get some nutrient-rich compost for your grounds.

Make Recycling a Part of Lessons

Firstly, making recycling fun is half of the battle when you want children to get enthusiastic about it. To get them involved in school recycling, make it a part of lessons. Encourage children to design recycling posters in art lessons that take pride of place around the school. Likewise, science lessons to teach them about climate change and how to recycle materials. Bring recycling and sustainability to life in the classroom.

Kick Off Your School Recycling Scheme

If you want to make your school more recycling friendly, set yourself up for success with a recycling scheme. But make sure you plan to keep it going after it ends.

  • Place recycling bins strategically around your school. Think paper recycling bins near the photocopier. Plastic and food waste bins in the canteen. Plastic and paper bins in the playground. Make sure children and staff know what can and can’t go in them. The point is to make school recycling easy;
  • Listen to ideas from pupils about how the school could increase recycling;
  • Use the school newsletter, parent emails, and staff memos to communicate the steps you’re taking to encourage more recycling;
  • Keep track of progress. This could be money saved through recycling or a reduction in the waste thrown away. Communicate the school’s achievements and this will help keep everyone motivated to keep recycling.

The new year is the perfect time to look at just how recycling friendly your school is. Above all, could you do more to save the planet (and some money) this year? For more interesting articles on all things recycling, check out the rest of our blog.

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