Activity #2: Research (45 min)

“Does anyone know how our recycling gets from our hand to the material recycling facility?”

Share ideas.

“We need to know a couple vocabulary terms:

  • A Materials Recovery Facility or MRF is where the recyclables are sorted to be sold to another company which uses it to make new things.
  • A Market is finding a buyer for the items you are selling, like a grocery store does with food. Recyclable material is like candy on the shelf and is waiting to find someone to buy it. If no one likes that kind of candy, does it sell? Does it have any value to the person who is selling
    it if no one will buy it?”

“Let’s watch this video about the importance of our part in recycling properly in order the items to be ultimately recycled.”

Watch selected segments: TedTalk: Recycling alone isn’t enough – here’s why | Michael Cyr

Link to video if needed

Pass out the Recycling Research Guide. Children complete their own Recycling Research Guide as the custodian answers the questions.

“We have our custodian who is responsible to make sure the building runs smoothly to talk about how the school makes sure trash
and recycling are not piling up in our school. We are going to find out if recycling is available in our community or is already in
use and we need to improve it. Please introduce yourself and the children will ask you a few questions.”

Custodian presents if recycling is available in your community or is already established.

  • Do we already have a recycling program in use?
  • Is recycling available in our community?
  • How recycling is collected in classrooms and who and what entity collects it?
  • Is trash and recycling handled at the county level or through a private company?
  • How much does the school pay for trash removal?
  • How much does the school pay for recycling removal?
  • Describe that process from bin in the classroom to Materials Recovery Facility.

Have the custodian show the children where the recycling is collected at the school for later removal off the school grounds.