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How can I recycle at my school?


All middle and high schools have access to a school recycling program for mixed recyclables.  Mixed recyclables include all types of  paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, rigid plastics, metal, and more!


Middle and high schools typically have a student group(s), such as ASB, Environmental Club, AVID, special education class, or other group, that helps collect recyclables from classrooms and then takes the material to the large outdoor recycling dumpsters.  At some schools custodians may provide assistance, but this is not always the case.


Step 1:  Check if your school has a group on campus, that has taken on the recycling program.  If there is a group, but it seems like they are not able to keep up with the program, maybe they need more members or another group to get involved to share the responsibility.  If that is the case, consider getting your friends together and offer to help out!  

Step 2:  Start a recycling club if there isn't one. Make sure your school administrators are on board and find out what you need to do to start a new club on campus. Check out the Recycling Handbook for ideas, or for inspiration.

Step 3:  Get custodial support.  They will need to know that your group will be emptying the recycling bins from the various classrooms and they may be able to help set up a collection schedule. 

Step 4:  Collection of recyclables - Hallways.  Some schools place larger blue recycling bins or carts in the hallways and ask each classroom to empty their smaller recycling bins into the larger container.  The larger bins can be lined with a clear plastic liner and the bagged recyclables, or the carts themselves, can be taken by custodial staff or student group to the big recycling dumpsters. 

Step 5:  Collection of recyclables - Classrooms.  Classroom-by-classroom collection of recycling bins works well with schools that have active recycling groups. The classroom bins don't need to be emptied every day, but can be scheduled for collection once or twice a week, before or after school. Some ASB groups collect recyclables during a certain class period. All recycling bins should be located next to trash cans so it is convenient for students to recycle.

Get involved!

Sponsor Recycling Activities

Why not get some friends together to organize some recycling awareness activities?


Freshman Orientation

Ask to provide information or a brief presentation, slide show, or video to in-coming Freshmen explaining how, what, and why they should recycle at your school.

Celebrate America Recycles Day

Promote recycling on campus and organize an event to get students involved for America Recycles Day on (or around) November 15th every year.

Celebrate Earth Day April 22nd!

Host an environmental information table, recycling competition, reuse art fair, or recycled fashion show  to celebrate Earth Day on or around April 22nd each year.

Donate Dresses & School Supplies

Consider donating prom dresses or unused school supplies to those who could use them.  Coordinate a Locker Leftovers recycling program so items get recycled or reused!

Recycling Bins & Equipment


If your school is short on recycling bins, begin investigating where you can get your hands on some. Due to tight budgets, our school district doesn't usually have funds to buy new bins, but you can always check with your Building Services Supervisor or the Recycling Program first.  The Recycling Program may be able to provide a limited number of classroom recycling bins and other recycling equipment at no charge to schools.   


Make sure all recycling bins are well marked to avoid contamination of the recyclables. Attach signs and/or labels on or above bins so everyone knows what goes where. Put recycling bins right next to trash bins!

Recycling Awareness Campaign


Spread the word about your recycling program to get staff and students involved.


  • Post eye-catching signs or posters around campus.  Ask your school’s talented artists or visual arts classes to help. Make sure posters are placed in prime locations and contain detail about what can be recycled, where bins are located, and why it’s important to recycle.

  • Hold a kick-off event to announce your program.

  • Write an article about the recycling program for your school newspaper.

  • Use social media to spread the word.

  • Make a recycling video that can be shown to the whole school.

feed the bin sign Kearny DMD_edited.jpg

Kearny DMD's "Feed the Bin" campaign and Crawford High's lunchtime recycling signage.

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