4 exciting recycling school projects

Recycling school projects is a great way to help to convert our waste into lower greenhouse gases. This is one method that can reduce pollution and help save our planet. There are tens of thousands of schools in the UK so a recycling school project would be beneficial.

Why should schools recycle?

There are thousands of pupils all over the UK using and disposing of materials daily. When we throw away a water bottle into a regular bin, it can do more harm than good. It is best to take your plastics and cardboards then put them into a proper recycle bin.

Facts and benefits of recycling

One of the major benefits of recycling is reusing materials. These materials are converted into new products that can be reused. When we recycle, it uses less resources when creating new products. Meaning, cheaper costs to make the product you will buy at the shops. When we recycle, this also helps reduce the need to mine the earth for materials. If the recycling process continues, our world would be much cleaner.

When at school, there are tons of materials discarded daily. The average primary school houses 280 students. This is according to a Schoolsweek.co.uk post from 2018. From a gov.uk statistic in January 2018, 13.8% of students were eligible for free school meals. This leaves 39 students who receive a free meal every day for the year.

infographic on why should primary schools recycle, waste management, recycling

Let’s say the other 86.2% bring in their own meals from home. Meaning they could bring in larger packaging for their meals. In theory, that is 240 pupils in 2018 that bring in extra plastics and cardboards. If the school does not properly dispose of the materials, this all can add up to pollution for the year. That can potentially be 250 days of unrecycled goods.

On average, one primary school pupil generates about 45kg of waste per year. With 240 or more pupils, this can add up to nearly 12 tones of unrecycled goods every year.

How can schools increase recycling?

There are many methods and techniques to reduce pollution in our schools. This can be the use of material choice in stationery. Electronics you or, your students bring to school. Or simply instruct pupils to bring in a refillable bottle.

How does this relate to a recycling school project? This helps to get youngsters used to the idea of recycling their products. Which can lead to more fun and practical projects.

If your school has a regular waste system, try introducing them to a recycling system. Use different coloured bins to separate the type of waste. Make sure the bins are clearly labeled with simple, bright and large typography. Also, add a simple graphic to each label to identify each bin.

With this, you will see a sharp increase in students using this system.

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Recycling ideas for schools projects

There are a ton of fun and interesting projects you can find here and throughout the web. Not only do we provide interesting ideas but we also have projects that are practical.

Here we are finally going to get to do some recycling projects. This short list will help you prevent any further pollution.

The popular recycled school project canned wind chimes

One of the most popular projects is creating a recycled wind chime. There are hundreds of ways this can be achieved but we will look at one for today. We’ll look at the popular tin can wind chime method.

Recycling school project, cans, wind chime inspiration
Source: Pexels
What you will need;
  • 3 or more empty clean tin cans
  • 3 or more washers
  • 1 nail
  • Thin string or wire
  • A hammer A small hoop
How it’s done;
  1. Start by turning every single one of your cans over so the base is facing up.
  2. Grab the nail, place it in the centre of the can and gently hammer a hole into it. Do this for every can.
  3. Next, feed the string through the holes.
  4. Tie a tight knot around the washer on the inside of your cans.
  5. Next, where the string comes out of the base, tie it to the small hoop so it’s spread evenly.
  6. Finally, evenly tie the hoop to an extra washer.

Once done, you can place this on a hook or a tree branch at home. As mentioned before there are a ton of ways you can create a recycled wind chime.

Colourful paper bags

You would be surprised how many pupils bring in quality paper bags with handles just to dispose of them. The paper bags they bring to school tend to have a quality texture for art. These are great for pupils who want to get artistic and is better suited for the environment.

Source: Pixabay
What you will need ;
  • A large paper bag
  • Chalk
  • Magic markers
  • Paint
How it’s done;

There is no real “how-to” guide for this project. This recycling school project is meant to not limit a pupil’s creativity. You mix and match the colours and stationery to create beautiful shapes or patterns.

These can be re-used for replacement bags. They can also be placed around the school or even at home as a nice decoration. The possibilities although simple is endless.

Plastic bottle projects that give back

Plastics are one of the most used materials on our planet. In certain places in your area, you are more than likely to find a discarded plastic bottle. This form of pollution has gone on for many decades without an end in sight.

What steps can we take to further prevent this act of littering? We can give back by making use of plastic bottles. We would then convert them into something practical. Let’s go over some exciting recycling school projects that involve plastic bottles.

Bird feeder

A neat way to have some friendly birds chirping at your window is with a bird feeder. We do not need a lot of tools for this as it’s pretty easy to make. Sharp scissors are involved so be sure to guide your pupil on how to properly cut plastic.

birds feeding on seeds, plastic bottle bird feeder recycling school project
Source: Unsplash

Inspiration taken from rspb.org.uk

What you will need;
  • A clean 1litre bottle
  • Sharp scissors
  • String or wire
  • Bird seeds
  • A pencil
How it’s done;
  1. We’ll start by cutting an oval-shaped hole just above the centre of the bottle.
  2. Make a slit underneath the bottle for any moisture to pass through.
  3. Make another slit that is small just below where you cut the hole. Also on the opposite of the bottle make the same slit.
  4. Push the pencil through both slights so it’s leveled and sticks out evenly.
  5. Tie the string or wire around the neck of the bottle so it’s tight around the lip.
  6. Then, tie the string around a hook to place the feeder anywhere you need it to be.
  7. Add bird seeds to your newly made bird feeder.
  8. Finally, enjoy the birds eating.

That’s all there is to it. Hopefully, this has given you inspiration for your next recycling school project.

Planting a bottle terrarium

Another great way to give back to the world is to create a bottle terrarium. A fun recycling school project that teaches care and cultivation of the earth.

person holding a plant, terrarium
So what is a bottle terrarium?

It is a miniature ecosystem you can grow typically in a glass or in this case, a plastic bottle. It’s a self-sustainable, easy to manage introductory to gardening.

Inspiration taken from teaching-tiny-tots

What you will need;
  • A 2litre bottle
  • Small plant
  • Pebbles or gravel
  • Soil Spoon
  • Sharp scissors
  • Water
How it’s done;
  1. Cut about six inches from the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Place pebbles or gravel into the bottom base. Like with the bird feeder, this will capture any moisture.
  3. Add about 4 inches of the soil at the bottom base.
  4. With the spoon, dig a hole into the soil where your plant will be. Place the plant you want to grow and preserve.
  5. Refill the hole with soil and add more soil if needed.
  6. Add water to dampen the soil.
  7. Place the top of the bottle back onto the base.

The plastic bottle that was about to thrown into the bin is now more useful than ever. Once you’ve done a few of these, you are ready to tackle even larger recycling school projects.

Final thoughts and other takeaways

Today we’ve looked at fun, creative and practical ways we can use recycling. We would love to expand on this post with brand new recycling ways. We welcome anything that involves good waste management. Now we know how to increase recycling, we now can experiment with different projects.

Recycling day Hounslow

Everyone in some way is doing their part. For the local parents who want to do more, we’ll list recycling pick up days. According to the London Borough of Hounslow;

Collections are anytime between 7 am and 5 pm. Typically on Thursdays.

Place black wheelie bin into the correct place, being the front edge of your property and not on the pavement.

Your recycling bin must be placed outside by 7 am on collection day.