Start A Recycling Program

A successful school recycling program is almost always the result of a team effort between school administrators, teachers, custodial staff, & students.  Establishing or improving a school recycling program doesn't have to be a complex or complicated process, but some forethought & planning can make a big difference in your success!  The below documents lay out a simple approach that should lead you & your team to a successful recycling program in your school.

IMPORTANT: the items listed as accepted for recycling in our documents are based on our work with a number of school districts in central Ohio.  Accepted items that are listed may or may not be accepted in your school recycling program.  Please check with your school hauler to verify what is accepted in your school recycling program. 

Does your school need recycling containers for classrooms and common areas?  Become a SWACO School Recycling Champion!  Learn more by visiting:
Recycling Champion Funding & Recognition Program.

Please email [email protected] with questions.

Girl with Recycling bin

Click on the below resources to learn how to implement a successful school recycling program!


Download & use our Recycling Best Management Practices for Schools to help guide you through implementing a sustainable school recycling program.

Download & use our Memo from the Principal template to communicate to staff about your new or improved school recycling program!

Download & use our School Walk-Through document to identify the number of recycling containers & labels needed in each area of your school.


Download & use our Pre and Post Dumpster Volume Monitoring Log sheets to help right-size your recycling program possible cost-savings.

Download & use our School Newsletter template to share your school recycling efforts with staff, students, & parents.

Download & use our scripted School Announcements template to engage & inform staff & students during intercom or video announcements.


Before using, be sure to check with your hauler about what is accepted for recycling in your program.  Labels may need to be modified.


Labels should be placed at eye-level.  If containers are short, we recommend placing them on a wall above containers.  Laminating each label will help to preserve them.  


Having a label for Landfill containers will help prevent contamination in the Recycle containers.