Supplying outdoor furniture since 2003.
Call at 1-800-775-8409
You have no items in your shopping cart.
School’s in Session – Four ideas to teach kids to recycle and throw out the trash

School’s in Session – Four ideas to teach kids to recycle and throw out the trash

It’s that time of year. Schools are getting ready to open; at least here in Florida. Another month and the kids will be leaving trash outside the bins, rather than in them. You really need to do something different this year.

As principal, your task is to make sure you stay within budget. Keep the place running smoothly. And have your students pass their tests. On top of this, you just received a letter from the waste management company. They’ve changed what the school recycles. Oye! Now you need to teach them all about the proper use of both trash and recycling. And have fun doing it. It’s how kids pick up the fundamentals; under your watch.

Let’s face it, picking up trash, and cleaning up after oneself can be non-existent in a student’s mind. Adults, too! If you want to keep your school trash free it needs to start during the earliest stages of education, from kindergarten to 1st grade. Since there is a huge selection of trash barrels and recycle bins to choose from, why not use a variety of techniques to teach those youngsters where trash belongs! Here are a few ideas.



  1. Hoop practice. Kids love practicing their hoops so why not give them something to throw at? Especially the younger ones who can’t reach a real basketball hoop. Create a wide backboard on the recycle bins with pictures of acceptable bottles and cans. The kids can draw, paint or cut out pictures from magazines and paste them on onto the backboards too to make them more memorable.

*Pro-tip: Use a wide backboard to give the little ones a large margin for error and keep the trash off the ground. Our 48 Gallon expanded metal trash can is perfect for this use as it has a nice wide open-top to work with.

  1. Gym and indoor sports. Hockey, golf, and soccer come to mind here. Use both trash barrels and recycle bins. Place a fresh bag in the receptacle and drop them on their side to create instant “nets” or “goals” out of them. Practice shots here with any viable trash found on the floor. Once the fun is over, turn the barrels right-side-up and admire your clean grounds.
  2. Contests & Fundraisers - Steel and aluminum cans (soda and juice) make for great fundraisers. The more you save, the more you make. The money is based on the weight. You can run contests for each classroom or grade level. Start off with tall recycle bins and line it with a clear plastic bag. This way once the bag is full you can see what’s inside.
    Remember, make sure you have enough trash and recycle bins visibly placed around the school.
  3. Outside in the field(s). Your outdoor trash cans need to be visible and eye-catching from all points on the field. Why not have your artistically inclined students paint colorful pictures on the outside of each container of recyclable products or your school’s mascot? Strategically place these bins around where students regularly gather. This makes throwing out trash and recycled products a more engaging experience.


We hope you can utilize these techniques to teach your students about how fun and rewarding cleaning up and recycling can be! is proud to support the thousands of schools and universities we work with to handle their trash and recycling needs.

Did you find this information helpful? Feel free to share your comments below to expand on our discussion and forums.

Leave your comment