Teaching Recycling To Students: 4 Ideas for Classroom Lessons

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"I use a steel lunch box,” shouts one child. “We have a compost at home!” says another. Method’s Auckland Sales and Sustainability Specialist Josephine is at Freemans Bay School talking to the children about recycling, and it seems a few of them know about zero waste already.

They’re not, however, initially aware about waste streams, the waste hierarchy or how worms work to turn their leftover organic matter into nutrients for the ground. 

It's not just worms that can help teach our younger generations the benefits and how-to’s of sustainable waste management either - there are other methods that can help make a visible change:

Be clear about the 3 R’s

By introducing the 3 R’s of the Waste Hierarchy -  reduce, reuse, and recycle - as the building blocks of the cultural conversation of waste, it becomes easy to show in simple steps what children can do to help.

Have colourful recycling bins and posters

One of the best ways to excite kids about the prospect of recycling is to offer them beautiful, colourful recycling bins and posters. Our Method recycling stations are designed to provide simplicity, consistency, vibrancy and fun in contrast to typically hidden away, incompatible receptacles. By offering posters as educational materials too, we make it easier for schools and kindergartens to effectively and enthusiastically teach their students about what goes into each waste stream.

Make your own worm farm

As we discovered at Freemans Bay School, children are fascinated by worm farms. To coalesce with your Organics recycling bin, create a worm farm outside using soil and other materials which will in turn show students how their food waste is transformed into compost.

Utilise video clips to educate

There’s no denying that our world today is ensconced in social media, and because of this video can be the most captivating format to utilise for a younger audience -- short, eye-catching clips to educate and capture their interest. The concepts of waste streams, the Waste Hierarchy and the growing amount of plastic in our landfills and oceans can be explained through the use of YouTube clips.

Examples of videos to use include:


method recycling schools

“Our new Method bins have allowed children to take an active role in sorting their rubbish...”

- Beach Haven Kindergarten, a coastal Auckland enviroschool with a heavy emphasis on sustainable habits and one of our customers.

Method’s Recycling Stations are the simplest way for your school to make a visible difference. Our colour-coded interlocking stations are fully flexible, and easily recognisable, making them the perfect tool for teaching your students about recycling.

If you’re interested in procuring Method recycling bins for your classroom, contact one of our Sales & Sustainability experts to find out more.