Teaching Your Kids How to Recycle

Recycling helps keep the environment free of trash and contributes to the local economy. Whatever your reasons for recycling, you should pass that enthusiasm onto your children. By helping the next generation learn about recycling, we will teach them how to protect the environment and keep the air clean.


Most children know that recycling is helpful, but don’t know why. Here are some ways you can teach your kids the importance of recycling:


Educate Yourself

Find local resources to educate yourself on recycling. This way you can thoroughly explain the process to your children. Teach them how technicians sort objects into different metal types and the different ways to recycle, including:


  • Buy-Back Locations: Some local super markets compensate for recycling aluminium cans and plastic bottles. You can also take scrap metal to a metal recycling centre for payment as well.
  • Curbside: Homeowners can separate garbage into bins. For instance, one bin can include plastics, another for aluminium cans, and another for newspapers.
  • Drop-Off Centre: Most cities have local recycling centres where residents can drop-off recyclable objects.
  • Reuse: Rather than throwing away old toys or clothes, you can donate them. A coat you’ve outgrown may make the perfect winter jacket for a less fortunate child. You can also reuse objects as decoration, such as using crates to create an old-fashion bookcase.


You can also explain how recycling reduces manufacturing costs, which in turns lowers consumer costs. Recycling also protects natural resources and conserves energy.


Try Hands-on Recycling Activities

Instead of just talking about ways to recycle, kids learn best with hands-on activities. Set up recycling bins in your home and post pictures of what items belong in each bin. Discuss the difference from non-ferrous and ferrous metals. Teach them with samples of different types of metals and plastics. Use everyday appliances, tools, products, and machinery. As a motivation, you can try to earn money from recycle for a family trip or a new movie.


Make Recycling a Game

Games are a great way to make learning fun. For instance, play a game that helps kids practice how to sort metals. Here are some ideas of fun games to play:


  • Recycling Sport: Have kids toss recyclable objects into bins from a distance. The person who gets the most objects in the bins, wins.
  • Recycling Relay: Create lines of teams and have each child pass recycling objects different ways until they reach the recycling bin. The first team to pass all their recycled objects wins.
  • Recycling Sort: Set up an obstacle course that kids have to weave through. At the end of the course, have them sort one item into the appropriate bin container. The person who gets the most correct items in the correct bin first wins.


Go to a Recycle Centre

Imagine as a kid seeing huge mounds of metal, cars piled on top of each other, and a massive machine that picks up heavy objects as if they were paper. Taking kids to the heart of the recycling action is a great way to inspire them to recycle. Contact your local recycle centre to see if they accept visitors. This trip will help them understand the recycling process and see it first-hand.


Make sure your kids understand and follow safety regulations at the recycle centre. You may also want to have them bring a notebook or camera to document their experience. Ask the staff if they will allow your kids to keep a piece of scrap metal from the scrap yard. This metal may help remind them to recycle.


Tell Them Fun Facts about Recycling

Most children don’t realize the impact their garbage has on the environment. Research fun facts about recycling that will help them understand the importance of recycling. Include recycling statistics in the country, most common metals, and the unlimited recycling ability for aluminium. Some of the facts may involve:


  • Before modern technology, people would melt metals to create household items, coins, and swords, which is a form of recycling.
  • Recycle centres can use 75% of garbage to recycle, but people only bring in 30%.
  • A ton of recycled paper can protect 17 trees, 3 yards of landfill, and 380 gallons of oil.
  • A glass bottle will take more than 4,000 years to decompose.
  • An aluminium can will take more than 500 years to decompose.
  • The power saved from recycling an aluminium can power a T.V for three hours.
  • The power saved from recycling a glass bottle can produce enough power to light a bulb for more than four hours.
  • You could line the earth four times with all the plastic bottles thrown away every year.
  • Out of all the plastic bags produced, only 1–3% is recycled.
  • Batteries contain chemicals that can cause humans to get sick. Batteries left in landfills seep these harmful toxins into the soil and water. If batteries are burned, they released toxic chemicals causing air pollution.
  • For every ton of debris recycled, it costs $30. To deliver a ton of debris to the landfill, it costs $50. To burn a ton of debris, it costs $60–$70.


Now that you know how to teach your kids to recycle, start recycling. Use these tips to make the process fun and interesting for your kids.

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