What would be some good recycling ideas for a school?

I've join a government group in my school, and we have to write a bill as a part of it. I'm doing one on environmental concerns, and I need some ideas for recycling ideas. Plus it'd be a good thing to bring up during one of our pep rally committee meetings...


I should probly mention (or not) that I don't focus on the present so much as the future. Don't get me wrong, but at the rate our Earth is being destroyed, humans are going to be what cause us to go extinct if we don't do anything about it. That's my view on things like this, I believe very strong about this.

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think Feral spoke very well, that is very much in line with how my own heart leads me in directing my own family on these issues.

    The biggest impact I think you could make for your school is to promote an end to disposable items where ever possible. It would be nice if all the kids could manage to get mom or dad to wash a cloth napkin. If you can not get people to agree to take care of their own cloth napkins, perhaps you could petition the school to use the money spent on paper products like that and put it into an eco-friendly laundry service that will wash and return them for you. (like what a restaurant would use...and you might even find one you could drop off too, like if someone lives close to one they could take it so you would not be using extra gas to do this) Or maybe someone could donate a used washer/dryer so it can be done at the school?

    (I stopped using all paper products YEARS ago...even toilet paper...its a HORRIBLE process that puts dioxin into our water ways and more...the water alone used to produce paper products is obnoxious and forget the energy consumption these paper plants use!) So you see, these kinds of changes are not just impacting a land fill, they are impacting the environment as a whole. If less people support the disposable products, less will be manufactured. That is where the REAL big benefits come into play.

    Also, recycling is all good and well, but work to put things into place that create less waste in the first place...like not having a ton of individually prepackaged things in the lunch room.

    Do not forget the benifits of finding new uses for that "trash." Yes, you could recycle used note book paper or printer paper etc....but you could also talk to the art department about turning some of it back into paper pulp and making new paper out of it! (Its not hard, it can be done with items that are very easy to find and inexpensive. You just need some wood to make a frame the size of a sheet of paper, some screen, a blender, things like that) It actually makes really pretty paper too! Great for greeting cards and the like. Maybe you could even sell the paper as stationary or as greeting cards for fund raisers for your school! Perhaps you could save up money to buy a nice high capacity HE washer for the school! Heck, if you make enough phone calls to various companies, someone might sponser you and donate a new one to the school.

    If your school has home economic classes, they could even learn how to make natural eco-friendly detergents that are safe for an HE washer and use that. The possibilities are endless!

    So so many ways to repurpose "trash." Learn to look at things with a new set of eyes and see how it can be made into something new!

    Even things like soda machines...if your school has these and more people want to keep them than not, see if they can set up a soda fountain instead. Let people bring in a certain sized cup of their own to reuse. This way, much less waste is created. Even if it is recyclable, it still takes energy to recycle! Those machines take a lot of energy to keep things cold and to roll out the bottles or cans etc. as well. The boxes that soda syrup comes in can be used to make new paper, or being that it is such a small amount anyway it can still be recycled...you just have much less to recycle. Even the plastic that the syrup is in inside the box can be recycled. It would take a small amount of electricity...but certainly less than a soda machine.

  • dunt
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Good Recycling Ideas

  • 1 decade ago

    Same as the other posts, I think you may want to reframe the cause to encompass the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and only if the previous two were unavoidable, THEN Recycle. I find that recycling is very much abused by the food industry (being it a supermarket or cafeteria) to excuse waste instead of avoiding waste. If you think about it, disposables cost a lot, because it is not just the price you pay for them, but the transport and the landfill or recycling costs. In the case of plastics, it is important to emphasize that it is not truly recyclable. Used plastic is mostly "downcycled" into lower quality items, which in turn will go to landfill anyways after the next cycle, and that only if we are lucky and it does not end up in our oceans. The environmental impact of disposable trash is just insane.

    That is for the reframing. As for an specific thing you can do, what about zero waste lunches? A friend told me a couple weeks ago about it. She works at a University and once a week, they have zero waste lunches where basically there are no trash cans in the cafeteria and you have to bring only reusable items to help you eat, and you must take them back home afterwards.

    I have also heard about vegetarian days. In England, there are places where only vegetarian meals are served once a week, that because of the impact of meat and its carbon footprint. I find this kind of weird because my mom studied nutrition and we grew up eating beef once a week and chicken once a week, not because we were poor (we definitely were not) but because it is actually better for you: if you look at statistics, meat consumption correlates with cancer. I guess one vegetarian meal a week is a start for some people. It may be fun for a whole school to play vegetarian together anyways, even if for a day.

    I wish you the best on your efforts. There are great ideas on this thread.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Out of the box idea. If more children were home schooled just think of all the wasted resources would be saved. No need for transportation, extra clothing to satisfy peer pressure, no disposable stuff from carried lunches, school buildings and grounds would not have to be so big, taxes would be lower so more parents could stay home ( lots saved there). This beats all other answers but most things that are taught in school to help the environment are mostly plastic banana type of things that in the long run won't matter much they will just make people feel good.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Put recycling bins all over the school and make a competition. After 9 weeks classes with huge amounts of recycled items receive a prize.

    30 pounds or less- no prize

    31-45 pounds- pizza party

    46-60-Decide on activity for 20 mins

    61 pounds or more- decide activity for 15 mins free time for 20 mins plus the victory of first place

  • 1 decade ago

    I always like to focus on reduce before recycle. Look at what is going into the garbage. Chances are your cafeteria like most has replaced it's kitchen with warming trays for over processed and packaged foods with little to no nutritional value and serve it on disposable trays. Advocate to go back to real food served on washable/reusable dishes. You can also encourage a zero waste lunch program that encourages students who bring their lunch to use reusable containers. Much of the packaging for lunches can't be recycled because it is a hybrid with a mix of plastic, paper and or metal.

    Encourage your school to program all the printers to print double sided, this simple step can cut paper usage dramatically.

    Either program can save the school money. All schools pay by weight for garbage removal. The more items you can divert from the waste bins the more money the school saves. You will have to consider the janitorial staff, to get them to change any work responsibilities takes union approval, so you can't count on them to empty recycling into a different bin.

  • Feral
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I appreciate your sincere concern about environmental issues. Yes, I agree with you that if we don't change our destructive habits now, our collective actions will continue to result in extinctions of marginal species, and each one lost represents permanent injury to the balance of nature and the potential for a healthy, resilient ecology of the future.

    One way to put more focus on the present, rather than relying so heavily on recycling, is to consider the ways we can reduce our consumption. If every kid in your school were to either walk or ride a bike to school -- even just one day -- it would have enormous impact. No minivans, no school buses, no consumption of fossil fuels or production of greenhouse gases and particulates to poison the air we breathe!

    Another shift to promote might be away from paper napkins in the lunch room. If every person were to bring a cloth napkin from home, and then take it home for laundering at the end of the day, much paper would be saved (and wouldn't have to be recycled!). Also, avoiding the purchase and consumption of packaged food items would minimize the packaging that goes to waste. (And eating an apple for dessert instead of a candy bar would be better for health too!)

    There are many ways we can change our lifestyle to have a lighter impact on our environment, and the more each one of us can do, the better. When we take steps to support biodiversity, to reduce our impact, and to find productive ways of using this stuff we've been calling waste, our efforts will be appreciated by future generations!

  • 1 decade ago

    Schools could have bins in the lunch room where kids throw away all their recyclables and compostable items. There could also be recycle bins and compost bins in all of the class rooms. I know at my kids' school they have breakfast in their classrooms in the morning. What do they do with their pencils once they get too short? What do they do with textbooks when they get too worn out to use anymore? Are there items in the school that could be re-purposed instead of thrown away?

  • Where can we sell our recyclables in the Houston, TX area?

    We have plastic bottles & containers, newspaper, office paper,

    ink & printer cartridges, broken eyeglasses, old cell phones, old cameras, & old household furniture. We need the cash as soon as possible to generate seed money to start a new business project to help disadvantaged families. You can E-mail me at tcpinc52@yahoo.com

  • 1 decade ago

    Collecting drinks cans and recycling paper/cardboard.

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