How to set-up an effective recycling programme in your school

Teamwork and communication play an important role in the success of a programme. Waste Management Teams are an efficient way to start, to aid in launching a 3Rs (recycle, reduce, reuse) programme, and encourage recycling in schools. The recycling coordinator cannot do this job alone. Support from several people within the school is necessary.

Establish a Waste Management Team composed of an administrator, school custodians, teaching staff, parents as well as students to back up the recycling activities. These people will help in identifying several key matters in school and support in problem solving to ensure the success of the programme.

After determining the key participants and contributors, development of an action plan follows. Formulate a mission statement, and post it in conspicuous areas in the school to make everyone aware of the school’s commitment to waste reduction and other environmental issues. Specify realistic goals and re-evaluate its progress as much as possible.

If the school district has an environmental policy, urge the purchasing department to create a procurement policy to buy office supplies which are environment friendly. Purchase equipment and materials that are energy efficient, discharge less toxic emissions, and are made from reused or recycled materials. Request the suppliers not to do over-pack their goods, to use recyclable packaging, and to collect any extra or reusable packaging or products.

Once the recycling programme is instituted, share it with others. Publish its accomplishments in the school and district newssheet. Most important, serve as a model to other schools.