Denver Recycles proudly provides more than 90,000 students in 170 Denver Public Schools with recycling service. More than 40 of these schools receive compost collection as well. Denver Recycles works extensively with DPS to educate students, staff and parents about the importance of waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting.
If you represent a DPS school and have questions about recycling, please email DenverRecycles@denvergov.org.
Here are some ways you can lessen your impact on the environment and still have a fantastic school year:
An estimated 40% of food in the United States goes to waste, and you can see this play out daily in DPS lunchrooms. All too often sandwiches sent from home go untouched, salad bar choices barely get noticed, and prepackaged snacks are never even opened. Instead, students simply toss these perfectly edible items in the trash (or compost) and head outside to recess. Students and their families can learn how and commit to reducing their food waste with the My Save the Food Pledge.
Each year when students clean out their lockers or desks, paper and other materials that could have been recycled or reused are needlessly thrown away. Think of all the work your school has put into waste reduction and recycling this year! Why stop now. Instead, follow this simple step-by-step plan for organizing an end of year clean-out and see how much your school can reuse, recycle and donate.
1. Identify a staff member, club or group of students to take the lead in preparing for, promoting and monitoring the cleanout. This could be an environmental club or Green Team, student council, or class that is particularly interested in being involved.
2. Discuss the collection process/details with administration and facilities manager. You should determine:
3. Begin saving cardboard boxes from the kitchen that can be labeled and used to collect reusable items.
4. Educate students and staff through signs and announcements about the "cleanout" and how to participate.
5. If possible, enlist parent volunteers, students and staff to monitor recycling stations on the day(s) of the cleanout.
1. Label recycling bins/carts clearly, explaining what goes in and what stays out. Although students have already been recycling during the school year, an extra reminder during this busy time will be helpful.
REMEMBER...what is not accepted in the recycling:
2. Pair recycling and trash carts/bins at your designated recycling stations to make it easy for students to sort trash from recyclables. Never have trash can by itself in a hallway or common area, as it is sure to collect materials that could have been recycled.
Many materials students throw away at the end of the school year can be used again in the future. Examples include crayons, notebooks, markers, glue, scissors and many other school supplies.
1. Set aside a central location as a reuse area and encourage students to bring items that can be used again next year to that location. Or, include labeled reuse boxes at each of your recycling stations throughout the school. ( Designate a "reuse closet" for these materials for student and staff to visit in the fall and obtain supplies free of charge.)
2. Place clothing donation boxes in a central reuse area or next to recycling stations for students to deposit unwanted clothing. Some students (especially older students) will throw out clothes at the end of the year rather than taking them home. These leftover clothing items can be donated to a local charity organization. (Identify a staff member or parent who can take the donated items to a local donation center.)