Managing Waste at Schools

Managing Waste at Schools

Essential questions: 
How can schools reduce the waste that goes into the landfill?
What are the different methods of waste removal?
What does the recycling process consist of?
Why is plastic pollution dangerous?
What are the benefits of composting?

Schools that are able to reduce their waste have a tremendous impact on our landfills. According to the EPA, some of what ends up in a landfill is comprised of 21% of food, 14% paper/cardboard, 10% rubber/leather/textiles, and 18% plastics. This means that 63% of materials that enter a landfill could easily be recycled or composted. When things are correctly sorted, we could potentially divert more than half of what ends up in a landfill. In addition to starting a recycling initiative, education on what can and cannot be recycled is even more important. While schools increase recycling efforts, making conscious efforts to minimize non-recyclable waste is also important. Becoming an informed consumer by shopping a certain way and purchasing better items also results in less waste. This module begins with how to recycle, why composting can help reduce a school’s waste, and how analyzing various methods of waste can lead to more conscious decision on how to manage waste at schools.