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Wastes—Educational Materials


A middle-age teacher draws various recycling logos on a chalkboard.

Don't Just Teach the ABCs—Teach the RRRs!
Environmental Curriculum Resources for the Classroom

These resources can help you teach your students to reduce, reuse, and recycle the waste we generate in our schools, homes, and communities. From basic classroom activities to starting a school electronics recycling program, these materials will help you and your students learn what we can do to reduce and better manage waste. Many resources are provided in both English and Spanish.

Get the Facts on Waste
Here, you'll find information about the amount and types of wastes produced by households, businesses, and industrial and manufacturing processes. Get tips on how to reduce the amount of waste generated in your school, home, and community.

Composting & Recycling
Access links to general information about recycling and composting, as well as the steps to setting up a recycling program in your school.

Curriculum & Activities
Find ideas for projects and games that educate your students on waste reduction. Plus, access clip art, mapping tools, and other educational materials.

Student Awards & Grants
Get information on awards, grants, and scholarships available to your students through government agencies and private organizations.

Tools to Reduce Waste in Schools
This helpful guide provides schools, school districts, and school officials with information on reducing, reusing, and recycling waste.

Teach English, Teach about the Environment (PDF) (133 pages, 1.6MB)
Use this curriculum to help you teach English to adult students while introducing basic environmental concepts and individual environmental responsibility. These concepts encourage cleaner, healthier communities by teaching the importance of practicing the "3Rs" of solid waste management—reduce, reuse, recycle.

Climate Change—What You Can Do at School
Students, educators, and school administrators can all play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This site provides a directory of education and action planning resources to help you get started.

Safe Chemical Management in Schools
The EPA's Toolkit for Safe Chemical Management in K-12 schools helps educate teachers and students on environmental issues in schools that pose health risks, and provided resources to help prevent and resolve these issues.

Eco-Schools USA Exit EPA
Learn the benefits of joining Eco-Schools, an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainable principles throughout their schools and curriculum.

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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