Dear Educators –
As districts across Franklin County wrap up a very challenging 2020-2021 school year and look ahead to returning to a more traditional school environment in the future, SWACO encourages you to consider the importance of recycling and food waste prevention and the positive impacts these activities can have on students and local communities.
Incorporating sustainability education in the classroom can teach students about the positive impact waste reduction and recycling have on the environment and economy and encourages future environmentally conscious decisions. We’ve developed a variety of classroom-friendly resources to help introduce recycling and food waste education and conversation in the classroom, all of which are available on our website
SWACO offers a variety of lessons and materials about recycling and waste reduction that can make the learning process fun for kids, teachers and even parents. We have diligently worked with educators across Franklin County to develop and test these materials.
School Food Waste Resources: SWACO’s new suite of resources on food waste reduction aims to help 3rd-5th grade students learn about this important issue. Students learn about the natural resources that are used in food production, like water, land and energy. Students will learn that when food is wasted not only are the natural resources used to produce the food wasted, but monetary resources and the opportunity to provide meals for hungry members of our community are also lost. Find each of these activities and more under Teacher Lesson Plans and Activities at https://www.swaco.org/378/School-Food-Waste-Resources
School Recycling Program: A successful school recycling program is almost always the result of a team effort between school administrators, teachers, custodial staff and students. Establishing or improving a school recycling program doesn't have to be a complex process, but some forethought and planning can make a big difference in its success! SWACO is prepared to support your development of a successful school recycling program in your district. Learn more here: https://www.swaco.org/320/Start-A-Recycling-Program
At Home Activities: To encourage learning and fun at home, SWACO has created a page on its website just for kids between the ages of six and 12. Our Kids Corner features four online games designed to teach children how to reduce, reuse and recycle. We vetted the games carefully to ensure they’re fun, educational, age appropriate, easy to play and relevant to Franklin County’s recycling program. See additional at home resources here: https://www.swaco.org/382/At-Home-Activities
Take a Tour of the Landfill from Home or School: Your classroom can watch an immersive, educational virtual tour of the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill to learn about the operations, engineering, and importance of reducing the waste stream: https://www.swaco.org/203/Landfill-Tour. As Covid-19 restrictions are rapidly changing, keep an eye on our web site for the return of in-person landfill tours as well!
Educators, school administrators and staff are important partners for SWACO. As we work to advance community-wide goals around food waste (goal: 50% reduction) and recycling (goal: reach 75% diversion of all materials from the landfill), we recognize the critical role education plays in not only reaching these recycling goals, but ensuring future generations also value and understand the importance of recycling right. For specific inquiries, we have a dedicated staff person ready to assist school districts, educators and administrators in their recycling and food waste initiatives:
Kristi Higginbotham, Program Administrator:
We hope you find these resources valuable within the classroom and beyond.