Using Education To Boost Recycling

The city of Detroit is hoping that improving recycling education will lead to a boost in the city’s waste recycling rate and overall trash reduction.

Up until a few years ago, the city did not offer municipal recycling services to residents or public schools. Any recycling efforts were undertaken by individuals and were minimal in scope.

Starting in 2007, the city’s public school system began partnerships with Recycle Here and Green Living Science, non-profit groups focused on providing recycling services and environmental education for schools. Stressing individual accountability, children are provided with opportunities for fostering recycling in their schools and homes and given strategies for preventing litter in their communities by learning how to manage their waste generation. School activities include contests to see who can collect the most recyclables and developing plans for managing waste and recycling more in school cafeterias.

The city now offers curbside recycling in three neighborhoods and recycling rates in those areas have increased as the school education program grows to include more children throughout all grade levels. In addition, city-wide transfer stations have reported an increase in the amount of recyclables brought in by families who do not have curbside programs.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Education and awareness are key factors when trying to increase your recycling rate at work, home, or in your community. It’s important that everyone involved understand how recycling can help the environment and cut waste disposal costs. When recycling and waste reduction actions are clearly defined everyone will know what to do and how to do it!