DEEP: Grade School Recycling Resources

Grade School Recycling Resources
{Grade School Recycling Resources Photo Banner}

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble"
                                                                        ~ Helen Keller

All schools in Connecticut are required by state law to recycle ten mandated items.  If your school isn't recycling, use these resources to develop, improve and publicize your program and to comply with the law.

Below you will find comprehensive guides to starting a school recycling program, expanding your current school recycling operations, and going beyond the 3 R’s at your school or across your school district to provide a safe and healthy environment for students. Teachers should also visit DEEP's Education webpage, the Recycling webpage, and the Connecticut Recycles Day webpage for more ideas and to learn more about DEEP's many offerings. If you have further questions, please contact the Connecticut DEEP Recycling Program at (860) 424-3366.


Lesson Plans and Activity Guides for the Classroom

Recycling, Composting, and Waste Reduction

Connecticut School Recycling Fact Sheets - A 60-page guide for recycling in schools (CT DEEP)

CT Recycling Program Resources - Fact sheets, children/teacher materials, videos for loan and purchase, traveling displays (CT DEEP)

Pollution Prevention Educational Resources - Displays, newsletter, fact sheets, case studies (CT DEEP)

Creative Solutions to Ending School Food Waste - USDA Blog Post includes an info-graphic on school food waste and links to lesson plans and other useful information. 

Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority Garbage Museum, Hartford, CT

A-Way With Waste Curriculum - See the Solid Waste Management section.  Has recycling/waste reduction classroom activities.   Teacher’s activities are cross-referenced by discipline. Grades K-6 or 7-12.  (Washington State Department of Ecology)

Recycling Lesson Plans - (PA DEP)

Recycling Starts With You! - Recycling Lesson Plans (Scholastic)

Teaching Plastics - (American Chemistry Council)

Waste and Recycling Curriculum and Activities - (MA DEP)

Teaching Resources: Waste and Recycling Activities - Lesson Plans Related to Waste and Recycling (US EPA)

Vermicomposting Classroom Activities - (California Integrated Waste Management Board)

Education Publications (K-12) - (California Integrated Waste Management Board)

Kellogg Environmental Center - (CT DEEP)

Teaching Center - (US EPA)

Green Education Network - A Connecticut-based website for K-16 educators, students and parents.

Paper Recycling Lessons & Activities - (

Waste Prevention Clip Art  (CalRecycle)

The Quest for Less - A Teacher's Guide to Reducing, Reusing and Recycling Activities and Resources for Teaching K-6.  (US EPA)

Carton Recycling in Schools Program Start-up Guide - Learn how adding cartons to your cafeteria recycling program is easy and can significantly reduce waste at lunch time.  (Carton Council)

Climate Change and Waste

Climate Adaptation & Education - Resources for Students and Educators


Project Food, Land, and People - Includes lesson plans on recycling and composting

General Activities, Crafts & Games

Creative Cardboard - Environmentally Friendly Creative Art Projects for Kids (Creative Displays Now!)

Recycle-Bowl - An annual recycling competition for K-12 schools.  (Keep America Beautiful)

The Greens – a website for kids about looking after the planet. (WGBH Boston)

Nature Recycler’s Coloring Book  (WI DNR)

3 R’s Challenge Game  (Kids Be Green)

Roscoe’s Recycle Room Games  (Steel Recycling Institute)

Can It Game  (CalRecycle)

Plastic Bag Jump Rope  (The New Children’s Museum)

Recycled Crafts– Turning Trash Into Children’s Treasures  (PBS Boston)

Recycled Arts & Crafts Guide  (Planet Ark)


Disclaimer: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) maintains the content on this web site to enhance public access to information and facilitate understanding of waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The DEEP is not recommending these resources over any others and recognizes these represent only a partial listing of resources on this subject.
Page Last Updated September 24, 2014