> Bin It
Set up a recycling system to recover valuable resources
Waste is such a waste! No really, it is: it’s a waste of energy, water, fuel, and of the valuable resources required to make all the stuff we’re wasting. Recycling our waste where we can (instead of binning it) will save these valuable resources from being wasted AND will reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gases that we produce (waste that is sent to landfill breaks down in a way that releases carbon dioxide).
Recycling is not just limited to cans, glass, paper and plastic; nowadays you can recycle almost anything. For example, if you look inside a typical school garbage bin, you would find mostly soft plastic packets and food scraps, both of which can be recycled. We can even recycle old technology so that it doesn’t go to waste!
How To Do It
Use one of the ideas below to start a recycling system at your school or look at other items your school could be recycling:
- Organise a mobile muster/device detox event and ask people to bring along their unwanted phones and other devices to be recycled
- Start a paper recycling system and run a competition to see who can design the most creative classroom paper recycling bin and the most clever paper recycling poster to stick on the bins
- Start a food scraps recycling network among students. Set up a compost bin at school or at someone’s house (or use an existing one), then get everyone to collect their food scraps and bring them along to be recycled. Document your journey of turning waste into a resource and share on social media
Quick tip: These projects could be among students in one class or between classes across the whole school.
Whole school tip
Start a competition between classes/house groups to see who can come up with the most creative recycling solution to deal with one the school’s most wasted items.
What’s Our Impact?
Use the following as guide to help you calculate your positive impact based on how much you collect and recycle:
- Recycling just one cell phone saves enough energy to power a laptop for 44 hours
- It takes 12% of a tree to produce 1000 sheets of print paper
- Recycling 1kg of food scraps saves approximately 1kg of CO2 emissions
About 70% of people in Australia have at least one old mobile phone at home and 32% have at least two or more.
90% of the materials within a mobile phone can be recycled.
Recycling 1kg of cardboard can save up to 1kg of greenhouse gases from being created and up to 30,000 litres of water.
Paper can be recycled up to eight times.
Recycling a single aluminium can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours.
Recycling 1kg of aluminium saves 20kg of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.