Recycling at School

Recycling Benefits

Recycling helps the earth in many ways, it: 
  • Conserves local and international natural resources. Products from recycled content instead of virgin natural resources,
    prevent the extraction or removal of more natural resources from the environment.
  • Protects air and water quality. Recycled content products have fewer manufacturing steps, so less chemicals or waste products
    are generated.
  • Saves energy. Less electricity to operate machines and/or natural gas to melt a material is needed.
  • Saves space in operating landfills. If less trash is being disposed of in a landfill, then the landfill can accept trash for a longer period of time. Less landfills will be built, which will preserves green space and farmland.
  • Decreases water usage. Fewer manufacturing steps that need water for cooling a machine will save water.
  • Decreases green house gases. Less fuel is used to make recycled content products; therefore, less carbon dioxide is generated.

Recycling helps economic development by supplying jobs at recycling centers and businesses that buy and sell recycled materials and remanufacture, ship and sell recycled content products. Also, businesses pay taxes in the communities that they operate. Taxes help pay to maintain roads and to provide services like police, fire and garbage removal.

Residential Recycling Report (download pdf)

Recycling Fundraisers

Schools can recycle the same items that are recycled at home, although only items like aluminum cans, paper and cardboard might raise a small amount of money. See below for specialty materials that can be collected as a school or group fundraiser. Think about being a green product in bulk like water bottles or canvas bags and selling them for a profit. You can reduce trash and earn some cash.

Royal Oak's Paper Retriever Program (visit website)
For paper recycling, contact 216.325.1500. 
A school and school district can collect mixed paper, phone books and cardboard.

River Valley Paper Recycling Program
For paper recycling, contact 330.535.1001.
A school and school district can collect mixed paper, phone books, hard and soft bound books and cardboard.
TerraCycle Collection Bridgades (visit website)
Collect Capri Sun pouches in the cafeteria. A group will need to be responsible for cleaning them out and preparing them for shipping. 

Art supplies, athletic balls, binders and other school items can be recycled via Terracyle's Zero Waste Boxes.

See what else you can collect through Terracycle. It may not earn you money, but you’re saving more materials from going to the landfill.
Collect the crayons and ship to Crayon Recycle Program, c/o Opportunities Unlimited, Community Work Center, 2680 Oneida Lane, Rhinelander, WI 54501. Website has ideas on helping to fund the shipping cost of the crayons.
Cans to Cash
Collect cans and earn cash from any scrap metal dealer.

Six-pack Rings
The Hi-cone company will recycle six-pack rings through their Ring Leader Recycling program.
Ink/Toner Empties & Small Electronics (visit website)
Collect to earn an Office Depot gift card
Sell Smencils (visit website)
Sell recycled newspaper pencils with great scents.
Collect Books (visit website)
The company will evaluate the books collected and offer cash for those that can be resold and will recycle the rest.
Sell T-shirts and Totebags (visit website)
Help stop global warming through selling We Add Up products.
Sell Wrap and Mat (visit website)
Create a Zero Waste Lunch buy selling as a fundraiser Wrap-N-Mat food wraps and bags.

Help to Support Recycling

Race to Recycle
  • Schools can help promote recycling of Motorola cell phones, routers and modems. Compensation is no longer given, but you can continue to collect for recycling.
  • Learn more about cell phone recycling (visit Motorola's website)
Experiential Education
Green Your School These are ways to improve your school’s health and to decrease the school’s impact on the environment. Greening your school may lower its operating costs. A healthier school is a better learning environment.

  • Adopt a School District Environmental Policy that creates sustainable program where administration, staff and students participate.
  • Start recycling or motivate recycling efforts. Paper can easily be collected in about every room of the building. Paper products make up around 90% of what a school throws in their dumpster.
  • Initiate waste reduction activities, especially in the lunch room. 
  • Students, who pack their lunch or bring snacks, should use a reusable bag, reusable containers, utensils and a cloth napkin.
  • The cafeteria should operate with sectioned trays that can be washed and reused, optimize food planning to reduce leftovers and donate leftovers to a food bank.
  • Compost organic leftover from lunches and cafeteria waste.
  • Revise procurement specifications to give preference to green products. 
  • Purchase recycled content materials.
  • Choose paper products with the highest percentage of post-consumer waste.
  • Automatic paper towel dispenser in bathrooms.
  • Evaluate the need for hazardous chemicals in the school.
  • Remove sources of mercury such as use alcohol thermometers instead of mercury ones.
  • Institute integrated pest management where schools eliminate the use of toxic pesticides.
  • Replace hazardous cleaning products with non-toxic, natural or biodegradable cleaners.
  • Recycle automotive fluids from vocational school.
  • Implement strategies that you decrease energy usage. 
  • Create greater flexibility for indoor climate control though thermostats in classrooms or in regions of the building where teachers can adjust and turn down heat during non-operating hours.
  • Install equipment that would decrease the need for lights through increasing daylighting features and motion light sensors.
  • Install vegetation that creates windbreaks as well as provide sade during warmer months.
  • Have students monitor energy and water usage as class project through central display.
  • Install equipment that will decrease water usage and fix leaky faucets.
  • Design pedestrian and bike friendly routes to school.
  • Site planning
  • Indoor air proper ventilation,
  • Make the school grounds an outdoor learning lab with a garden, pond, compost pile and plant native vegetation.
  • Replace old nonrenewable gasoline powered buses with buses that operate on renewable energy.

Green Your School Resources



Subscribe to our newsletter

View our Calendar of Events