Recycling & Waste Reduction Programs

Being able to throw something away and never see it again makes it easy to ignore the impact we are having. The average person creates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. It’s never too soon to turn things around! Think about this: Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to run a 60-watt bulb for 20 hours, a laptop for 4 hours, or a TV for two hours. It takes a glass bottle approximately one million years to break down in a landfill. The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will operate a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, and for every ton of recycled glass turned into new products, 315 kilograms of extra carbon dioxide that would have been released during the creation of new glass are saved! Recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water and enough energy to power the average American home for six months – plus it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent. If every American recycled one newspaper a week, we would save about 36 million trees a year!

Ton for ton, recycling reduces more pollution, saves more energy and reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions more than any other solid waste management option. When schools recycle, they help to reduce fossil fuel usage, conserve resources, create local jobs and even generate extra funds for their school. Students who participate in recycling now will have more of an incentive to carry on this “habit” as adults. Learn more about recycling programs and events below, and remember: Share your efforts with the whole school, parents and the community to encourage more people to reduce, reuse & recycle!

Tip: Also visit our National & State Green School Programs page to learn more about local and national Green School programs and resources to help you improve the health & sustainability of your school!

Students holding up recycle bins and posters

Before You Start

Design and Preparation


Using Your Project

Sharing Your Project

Resource Center