Recycling Toolkit for Schools

SEEK Updated
Resource Types: 
Web Site
Learning Kit

The Recycle More Minnesota campaign is a joint effort between the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), designed to increase recycling in Minnesota through increased awareness about the benefits of recycling and the opportunities available. The purpose of this toolkit is to help schools get a recycling program organized and operating successfully.

Why should your school start a recycling program?

  • Save money. As you reduce waste and increase recycling, you'll need to "right-size" your dumpsters and collection frequency. Often, this "right-sizing" process is where districts can see substantial savings. This is because the State of Minnesota requires waste haulers to add taxes or charges to the waste bill, but recycling and composting are exempt from these charges.
  • Meet regulations. The Waste Management Act requires that public entities have containers for at least three recyclable materials, such as paper, glass, plastic and metal, and transfer all recyclable materials collected to a recycler (Minn. Stat. 115A.151).
  • Do the right thing. By choosing to recycle, we reduce fossil fuel demand, create jobs in Minnesota, conserve natural resources and benefit the environment in many ways. Great news for Minnesota's citizens, businesses and wildlife!
  • How to create a successful recycling program at your school
    If you are ready to start a recycling program, or improve your existing program, the following 12-steps are recommended to get you there!

  • Gain support from decision-makers
  • Form a recycling team
  • Get a handle on the current situation
  • Investigate current waste contract
  • Design your recycling program
  • Consider a food waste or organics collection program
  • Kick-off and educate others about your program
  • Track your progress and make improvements
  • Adjust your garbage collection process
  • Celebrate success!
  • Sustain your program
  • Beyond recycling
  • The Beyond Recycling section includes "Curriculum and teaching resources." Recycle More Minnesota offers curriculum and teaching resources to connect you with simple ideas and easy-to-understand materials, both to integrate recycling issues into your curriculum as well as to make recycling a habit in your classroom.

    Visit for more information and resources on each of these steps.

    This toolkit contains many of the best examples and recommendations for schools in our state. In addition, Recycle More Minnesota has established a "Google site" to facilitate the sharing of those resources. From photos to lesson plans and presentations, this is a place where county solid waste professionals and others who assist schools can share resources.

    To view the lesson plans, go to

    If you would like to upload your documents or post comments you must be added as a site editor. To do this or for more information about this site, please email

    Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM)
    Topic Areas: 
    Target Audience: 
    Grades Pre K-12
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: 
    Contact(s) or order information.: 

    Recycle More Minnesota
    651-296-6300 (metro area)
    1-800-657-3864 (statewide)