10 Tips to Reduce Waste and Recycle at your School
- If there are school supplies or equipment that are not needed or left over at the end of the year, donate them to a local organization instead of throwing them away. Work with the families and teachers to make going “Back to School” greener too.
- Start a composting program in the school cafeteria to reduce food waste. Here is some more information on setting up a composting program for your school cafeteria.
- Cafeteria kitchens can utilize stainless steel waste compactors in the back where cooks work to reduce the amount of space that food and kitchen waste occupies.
- Pull together a recycling and waste management team. Your school’s recycling team could consist of a student leader(s), custodian, teacher, and administration.
- Educate students and staff about the recycling and waste reduction program. No matter how small the recycling program is, educating the students and staff on the “how” and “why” are vital to its success. This post on 6 Ways to do Greener Business can apply to schools too.
- Think paperless. There is much that can be done via email, electronic documents, and online instead of printing paper hard copies. Staff and administration should be educated on how making small changes to make their curriculum paperless can make a big difference in reducing paper waste and increasing efficiency.
- Materials such as aluminum, plastics, and cardboard/paper are easy for schools to collect and bale. Small vertical balers can be utilized by the school custodial and maintenance crew to bale and store the recyclables for easier storage and transport.
- Get to know your local recycling facility, what they accept and how materials should be sorted. Your school will want to create a long-term relationship with the local recycling facility as you grow you recycling program.
- Invest in waste reduction. As part of your school’s waste reduction plan, recycling and waste management equipment, such as automatic trash compactors placed in the high-traffic student areas make waste management more efficient for custodial staff and reduce the number of trash pickups.
- Use special recycling programs for fundraising for the school. There are many established buy-back and recycling programs that can help to build teamwork and raise funds.
How is your school being proactive recycling and reducing waste? Do you plan on starting any new recycling and waste reduction initiatives for this school year?