With the number of children and teenagers attending primary and high schools across the United Kingdom there is an extensive volume of waste created each day. Therefore recycling is a great way to ease the situation. By introducing recycling bins marked for different types of recyclable materials and as long as every pupil and member of staff takes an active role in recycling, it can dramatically decrease the amount of waste been sent out to landfills and become much more sustainable.
Basic materials from schools that can be recycled are as follows:
- Drink Cans
- Plastic Bottles
- Paper is the main form of waste created by schools.
- Set up a paper collection scheme for each classroom by making ‘paper only’ boxes for the children and teachers to put used paper in.
- Involve pupils by allowing them to create posters and bright labels for the recycle bins.
- Brief the teachers about the recycling scheme inform the pupils in assemblies.
- Metal recycling schemes are good for schools with vending machines.
- Place the bins next to the vending machines and make sure they are clearly labeled.
- Find out if there is a “Cash for Cans” program running in your area.
- Buy recycled print cartridges whenever possible.
- Make the compost by adding items such as tea bags, coffee granules, fruit and vegetable cuttings from the canteen and staff rooms.
- If your school has a garden, then you can add leaves, plant cuttings and grass trimmings to the compost heap.
Recycling Conserves Raw Materials
Recycling converts used materials into new products, reducing the need to use natural resources. If used materials are not recycled, new products are made by extracting raw materials from the Earth through mining and forestry. Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects natural habitats.
Recycling Saves Energy
Using recycled materials during the manufacturing process uses less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials. There are also extra energy savings as energy is required to extract, refine, transport and process raw materials ready for industry.
Recycling helps protect the environment
Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials all of which create air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions helping to tackle climate change.
Recycling Reduces Landfill
If recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites will be reduced.
The design and management of school grounds can have a significant impact on pupils’ attitudes and behaviour towards the school. Involving pupils in the design and creation the school grounds will give them a sense of ownership and responsibility for their surroundings. This will contribute towards pupils dropping less litter resulting in a nicer and more environmentally friendly institution.
Using the school grounds for teaching purposes can offer lots of exciting learning opportunities and help to bring a range of topics to life in a way that would be difficult or impossible to achieve in an indoor classroom. Pupils enjoy the challenge of learning in a different, more practical way.
Although most materials can be recycled in some way, there are some that cannot. For such materials other bins will be required and the need for fire safety in areas where large groups gather is vitally important, especially when it is children. Therefore fire retardant bins are a must for schools.
And remember, you are not recycling if you send your waste to be recycled, but you do not buy products made from recycled content.