Recycling and Composting

Recycling & Composting

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These activities should be completed in the presence of a parent or guardian.

Every day, the average American produces almost 5 pounds of trash, almost 2,000 pounds of trash a year. Some of that trash can be disposed of in other ways, like recycling and composting. Knowing what can and cannot be recycled in your community can help reduce the amount of trash you produce each day.

Discussion: Ask your youth, “where do you think garbage goes?” It may end up in landfills, oceans, or in our local parks. Discuss Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling means, and how you should use this when buying goods.

  • Reduce- Use only what you need and try pick objects that have the least amount of packaging. For example,
  • Reuse- Use objects that you can use more than once. For example, use a water bottle that you can refill.
  • Recycle- Some objects, like metals and glass, can be used to make new objects. For example, glass can be melted and formed into new objects.



  • Description: Work with your youth to decide which parts of a meal or of a trash bin can be composted, recycled, or reused. Ask your youth what you can do differently to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Modifications:
    • Complete this activity over a day to a few days to see how much waste you produce.
    • Have your youth create signs to hang over the garbage bin to inform your family about recycling and composting.
  • Materials:


  • This is a great activity to do immediately after the garbage is taken out or after a meal.

Additional Resources: