Do you know how much rubbish a school can produce? According to Recycle Now, it can be as much as 22 kilograms of waste. And, that’s for every student per academic year! Australia is already littered with rubbish. Schools, therefore, are some of the perfect places to put up rubbish bins and recycling bin posters.
You can also pick up these tips to ensure your students observe proper waste disposal:
1. Use color coded recycling bins
Not all types of waste should end up in the landfill. Some of them are good for recycling or reusing, while others can become compost for plants.
For this reason, many countries now assign colours to bins. In the US, a black bin means it’s for general waste. In Australia and New Zealand, the colour is red.
Other colours are:
- Yellow for a co-mingled recycling bin
- Green for organic matter, such as some food produce and dry leaves
- Blue for paper and cards
States may also have their respective colours for the bins. Your school may even decide to pick your preferred shades, although students may benefit from standard colour-coded bins. This way, they can carry their habit outside of school. Click here at Ecobin.
2. Place recycling bin posters
Not everyone can understand the meaning of the colours of the bins. This may be especially true for young children. That’s why you may have to put up recycling bin posters.
What are these? These are visual reminders that can guide everyone in school how to use the bins and dispose of their waste properly.
You can design a poster yourself or buy one from stores, such as Ecobin. Either way, make sure that your poster is:
- Readable or legible
- Visible even from afar
- Using colours that also match the bins
- Understandable even by small children
For the last one, you may want to get posters that also display images of possible waste for each colour-coded bin. It can save people time from second-guessing where their trash should go.
In marketing, there’s a term known as “call to action”. It means you need to inform people what they should do with the data or knowledge you’re sharing. Otherwise, nothing productive comes out of it.
It’s the same thing with proper waste management policies. They are futile unless you educate everyone concerned and tell them what they need to do exactly.
For example, should they put cardboard in recycling bin for co-mingled items? Your training and education must answer that.
4. Match penalties with rewards
It’s normal for schools to punish students who don’t follow rules, like proper waste disposal. This process, though, may only cultivate fear, which is a negative behaviour.
You may want to counter these penalties with rewards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has proven how incentives can promote positive behaviours.
How do you do that? Your school may organise cleaning competitions with appealing prizes to classrooms that succeed.
Don’t expect to see positive changes overnight. Again, it’s all about creating habits. You will not see anything at all, though, unless you take the first step today.