Helping pupils and staff protect the environment.
Advice for schools to set up or further develop a recycling and waste management scheme that will be successful and sustainable.
School waste guide for caretakers
What you can & can't recycle in school
What can you recycle in school?
Any schools with a Northumberland County Council or SUEZ UK Ltd recycling collection can recycle the materials listed below:
- all plastic bottles - please rinse and remove lids
- newspapers, junk mail, magazines, catalogues, envelopes, writing and drawing paper
- card and cardboard
- clean food and drinks cans
- empty aerosol cans
- biscuit and sweet tins (metal only please)
The materials we can recycle are easy to rinse and minimise contamination, so it’s important to only place the items listed in your recycling bins. To make it easy for employees and pupils, print and laminate our ‘What to Recycle’
poster and display in school or on recycling bins.
What can’t you recycle in school?
What happens to your school recycling and rubbish?
- paper towels, tissues and shredded paper
- plastic wrappings or tubs
- food waste
- crisp packets
Your recycling is taken to a materials recycling facility at West Sleekburn for sorting, before being sent on and made into new products. Your rubbish is converted into electricity at an ‘energy from waste’ plant. It’s not put into landfill, so it’s much better for our environment.
Top recycling tips
Recycling bins and labelling
Involve the whole school
- Have a recycling point in every room - don’t forget non-teaching areas like the office, staff room and kitchen.
- Label recycling points and waste bins clearly - this will help avoid the wrong things being put in the wrong bins.
- Provide a rubbish bin next to every recycling bin - this makes it as easy to recycle as it is to throw something away. Rubbish bins should be a different colour to the recycling bins, making it very easy to put materials into the correct bins.
Maintain your success
- Keep people informed - make sure everyone knows what can be recycled at school and why it’s important.
- Set up a rota for emptying the recycling points.
- Motivate teachers to lead by example, recycling as much as possible and encouraging pupils to get involved.
- Involve cleaning and support staff - ensure cleaning and support staff are informed of changes that affect them, and let them know how important their role is.
- Spread your success - tell other people about successes, especially parents and the local press and praise all the teams involved.
- Have regular recycling reports - report at assemblies and display amounts of recycling collected on a noticeboard to keep everyone informed and motivated.
Watch out for any decline in recycling levels and keep a record of any problems with recycling e.g. contamination in recycling bins, items spotted in the general waste bins that could have been recycled.
Completing a school waste audit
A waste audit is the most important first step in setting up a waste management plan for your school.
Try to break your assessment down into more manageable sections, including:
Click here for waste audit lesson plans and information from Recycle Now
- The quantity of waste that is being created
- Could waste be prevented or reduced?
- Which items could be recycled or composted?
- Which items should be disposed of in the rubbish bins?
- Which items need to be disposed of more carefully and are potentially hazardous?
- Which items can't be legally disposed of as general waste anymore?
Arranging a recycling & waste collection
Discuss recycling and waste collections or organise a quote for collections with our area waste managers.
Call 0345 600 6400 and ask for the relevant area waste manager from the list below, or send them an email:
Resources to support your school recycling promotions
Buying recycling equipment & recycled products
Recycling other materials in school
If you’re recycling other materials we can’t process for you, like mobile phones, stamps, batteries and textiles, collect these items in containers that are clearly different from your normal recycling bins and collection points. Many charities and collection companies provide a container or bags for their collection service.