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Wastes—Educational Materials

Eco-Portal for Teachers - An Information Gateway

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This page provides a gateway to other resources including publications, online tools, and additional materials. It is designed to provide you with even more information to help educate students on solid and hazardous waste issues and enhance the classroom experience!

Online Tools
Additional Resources


EPA Publications
Hundreds of EPA publications are available online on topics ranging from solid waste management and climate change to recycling and composting. Publications are listed alphabetically and by topics. You may view publications online or place an order using the forms provided. Users are limited to ten different publications per request.

The following products are also available online:

Catalog of Hazardous And Solid Waste Publications, 16th edition
This catalog lists hazardous and solid waste documents released by the US EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR). This is a select list of publications that are frequently requested and is not a comprehensive list of all documents available. This edition of the catalog contains publications through July 15, 2003. Newer publications are available online

A Collection of Solid Waste Resources on CD-ROM
This latest edition of solid waste resources contains more than 300 publications. It also contains games and activities for kids and materials for teens. You may order the CD-ROM free of charge from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) by calling 1-800-490-9198 and requesting publication number “EPA 530-C-08-001”.

Publicaciones en Español
Publications about waste for kids, teens, and adults. Also includes consumer tips in Spanish.

Kids Pages from EPA’s Tribal Waste Journals
Includes excerpts from EPA’s Tribal Waste Journal containing information and activities for kids.

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Online Tools

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RCRA Online
This online database is designed to enable users to locate documents, including publications and other outreach materials, that cover a wide range of RCRA issues and topics.

Envirofacts Warehouse
This online tool provides users with direct access to environmental information contained in various EPA databases including hazardous waste, Superfund information, toxic releases, facility information, risk management plans, grants/funding, water permits, and drinking water contaminant occurrence. The database allows a user to input their zip code and obtain environmental information specific to their geographic location. Users can specifically search for information on waste sites and waste activities by selecting the Waste link.

My Environment
This powerful Web-based tool provides a wide range of federal, state, and local information about environmental conditions and features in your area of choice. By entering a zip code or a city and state name, a user can retrieve an interactive map that shows the location of regulated facilities, monitoring sites, water bodies, population density, and perspective topographic views. In addition, this tool provides geographic statistics about a user’s area of interest, including estimated population, county/urban area designations, and local waterbodies and watersheds. Users can also retrieve federal, state, and local information on environmental issues like air and water quality, watershed health, Superfund sites, fish advisories, and impaired waters.

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Additional Resources

A to Z Teacher Stuff Exit EPA
This guide provides links to online lesson plans and resources for studying the topics of recycling and composting in the classroom.

Aluminum Beverage Cans: The ABC’s of Environmental Education Exit EPA
Note: You must register to download the curriculum. Resource kit for teaching students many important concepts about the environment. The kit uses the aluminum beverage can as a case study in environmental education. The can provides a snapshot of the role scientific and environmental concerns play in thedevelopment and use of packaging. By studying the many attributes of aluminum cans, students will see first hand the challenges that industry faces in protecting the environment while also providing consumers with safe, enjoyable products. Includes background information, in-class experiments, and extracurricular activities.

An Ounce of Prevention (PDF) (128 pp, 1.4MB, about PDF) Exit EPA
This curriculum guides teachers in educating students about the importance of preventing waste and using less. The information helps students learn about the value of source reduction and its place in the hierarchy of solid waste solutions and provides a basis for students’ thinking about the need to conserve all types of resources, including materials, energy, water and air.

Awesome Library: Recycling Exit EPA
Provides links to various online resources including lesson plans and recycling resources. Also provides information on various environmental topics including garbage disposal, municipal waste, household hazardous wastes, and green consuming.

Creative Cardboard: Environmentally Friendly and Recycled Art Projects For Kids Exit EPA
Provides links to art projects using recycled materials.

Young students in bus outside of school

EE-Link Exit EPA
EE-Link is a participant in the Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP) of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). The website provides extensive resources for teachers on various environmental topics.

Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education (ENC) Online Exit EPA
ENC Online is a K - 12 math and science teacher center. Allows teachers to browse or search the site’s extensive library of curriculum resources including the topics of recycling, waste reduction, pollution prevention, and composting.

Energy Kids
This website, provided by the Energy Information Administration, includes information on the connection between energy, garbage, and recycling. Includes an Energy Quiz for kids, fun facts, and other online resources.

Envirolink Exit EPA
This website provides comprehensive, up-to-date environmental resources. Information includes current environmental news, local opportunities for activism, OneWorld Magazine, and forums to discuss environmental issues. Educational resource information Exit EPA includes waste management, sustainable living, and ground pollution.

Environmental Resources Information Center (ERIC) Exit EPA
ERIC is a national information system designed to provide users with ready access to an extensive body of education-related literature. Users can access the literature through the online ERIC database, one of the world’s largest source of education information. The database contains more than one million abstracts of education-related documents and journal articles including science, math, and environmental news and issues.

Act Green Exit EPA
Scholastic’s Act Green site makes going green a family affair. Using Act Green, your students can choose from 100 ways to Act Green. As they make changes to their routine, they earn green points and make the world a greener place.

Haz-Ed: Classroom Activities for Understanding HazWaste
Haz-Ed is a compilation of interdisciplinary activities that focus on the often complicated and sometimes controversial scientific, technical, and policy issues related to hazardous waste sites and Superfund. Haz-Ed materials can be used as part of a larger curriculum, as special stand-alone activities, or on an occasional basis to teach students about hazardous waste issues. Haz-Ed is designed to help students develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

The Imagination Factory Exit EPA
Provides many creative ideas for recycling materials through art.

NAPCOR (The National Association for PET Container Resources) Kids Corner Exit EPA
This website includes information designed to teach kids about PET plastic and how to recycle PET containers. Includes a recycling glossary, fun facts about PET, and a word game.

National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) Kids’ Page
Provides numerous topics including information on waste reduction and recycling and vermicomposting. Includes information for young children through high school.

PaperRecycles.Org: School RecyclingExit EPA
Provides interactive, educational project ideas on paper reuse, recycling, and sustainable forestry for classroom use. Also provides useful information on paper recycling, an interactive recycling game, and other resources.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Paper Making Arts and Crafts Exit EPA
Provides ideas for giving paper a new life and purpose.

The Ring Leader Recycling Program Exit EPA
Provided by the ITW Hi-Cone company, the Ring Leader Recycling Program is an educational experience, involving recyclable six-pack rings and the 3 R’s—reduce, reuse, and recycle. It is designed for implementation in both formal and informal educational environments to allow students to learn about and participate in an effective school recycling program. The website also provides links to recycling resources.

Searching SEEK (Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge) Exit EPA
SEEK is Minnesota’s interactive directory. Topics includes waste management, waste prevention, recycling, compost, and hazardous waste.

Superfund for Students and Teachers
Provides resources to help teachers educate students about EPA’s Superfund Program. Includes activities, environmental cleanup videos, and a participatory program in which classrooms collect weather data for EPA.

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Tips to reduce waste

Drag the recyclables off the conveyor belt and put them in the correct bins.
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Tips to reduce waste
  • Use products made with recycled materials
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs and rechargeable batteries
  • Shop with cloth bags
  • Reuse plastic bags, cups, containers, etc.
  • Repair items instead of throwing them away.
  • Compost your food and yard waste.

Learn more about reducing, reusing, and recycling.

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