Starting A School Recycling Program

Teachers, parents and students have found a way to say goodbye to homework (at least to old homework): They recycle it.

In fact, students have helped to contribute to a new record in paper recycling. In 2005, 51.5 percent of paper used in the U.S.-51.3 million tons-was recovered for recycling.

To start a school recycling program, try these tips from the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and Keep America Beautiful (KAB). The groups provide training and a variety of resources to help educators teach students about recycling. Together, they have helped to start school paper recycling programs across the U.S.

Recycling 101

• Determine the amount and types of recyclable material in your school, and how to collect and separate it. Enlist the support of school administrators and staff, and appoint a coordinator and support team. Make sure to involve a student leader.

• Hold a kickoff event to start your recycling program and involve as many students as possible. Use the event to educate teachers, students and staff about the importance of recycling. Hold contests and offer small incentives to keep students interested.

• Work with a recycling company to gather materials and collect monthly results for your program.

Students Making A Difference

School recycling programs can have big environmental and educational benefits. Programs such as the AF&PA Recycling Awards and KAB outreach efforts can help.

The AF&PA Recycling Awards recognize outstanding individual, school, business and community recycling efforts. KAB has raised awareness for the program, and also has tools and resources available to help implement school recycling programs.

Join both organizations in supporting increased paper recovery efforts in your school and community.

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