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Educational Resources for Teachers

Teaching Recycling to Students: Four ideas for classroom lessons

How can we help teach our younger generations the benefits and how-to’s of sustainable waste management? Here are our methods that can help make a visible change:

Be clear about the 3 R’s

It's becomes easy to show children what they can do to help by introducing them to the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) of the Waste Hierarchy.

Have colourful recycling bins and posters

One of the best ways to excite kids about the prospect of recycling is to offer them beautiful, colourful recycling bins and posters. By offering posters as educational materials too, we make it easier for schools and kindergartens to effectively and enthusiastically teach their students about what goes into each waste stream.

Make your own worm farm

To work with your Organics recycling bin, create a worm farm outside using soil and other materials which will in turn show students how their food waste is transformed into compost.

Utilise video clips to educate

Video can be the most captivating format to utilise for a younger audience – short, eye-catching clips to educate and capture their interest. The concepts of waste streams, the Waste Hierarchy and the growing amount of plastic in our landfills and oceans can be explained through the use of YouTube clips.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAY4UUsrCSo Recycling and Composting at work 5:03

Elementary Resources:

https://wordwall.net/play/5664/743/580 Waste sorting game

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fex-wvrOZf4 Recycling for kids/ Learn how to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OasbYWF4_S8 Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, to enjoy a better life / Educational video for kids 3:39

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PElbErayZg Composting for kids with Peppa Pig 5:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fex-wvrOZf4 Recycling for Kids l Learn how to reduce, reuse, and recycle 6:38

11 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Lesson Ideas for Every Subject

Reduce, reuse, recycle is a phrase that many of us have learned when we were in school.  Now we can incorporate these principles into the classroom to pass it on to the next generation.  These activities can help students explore how to put this phrase to use in many different ways.  Many of these hands-on project ideas can be adapted for any grade level.


Example of Student Committees to provide leadership to the Waste Management Program

Dr. Robert Plaxton Elementary School:


  • Consists of primarily grade 4 students (this grade is chosen because at this time, grade 4 science curriculum is connected to waste review, management and sustainability of the environment)
    • Students bi-weekly empty paper, mixed plastics and returnable containers from classrooms to central locations
    • Students are rotated through the green team responsibilities so all students in gr4 have a chance to help out
    • Thursdays students will connect with caretaking to wash out any classroom bins that they notice need rinsing; students take it to the caretakers closet where caretaker rinses the bins out and students dry and return to the classroom
    • Composting initiatives/scheduling is still under pilot – we hope to be able to provide some feedback soon.