All County public schools
recycle just like we do at home!
Easy Ways to Improve Recycling
Want a recycling presentation for students and staff? These informative FREE presentations challenge and engage children and adults to learn about trash, recycling and other easy things we can do to help the environment.
A handy chart of what can and can't be recycled.
Print a lunchroom poster of what can be recycled. Remember to eat the food and drink the drink before recycling.
Easy ways to improve recycling in your school.
What happens to all those things we recycle? Watch a quick video of the recycling processor.
Want to do more? Check out our What Should I Do With? webpage
You can also visit the Howard County Public School's recycling website
Frequently Asked Questions
Styrofoam trays are not being used this year. Yay! What's the scoop on the new trays?
HCPSS is going green by using molded-fiber (similar to cardboard) lunch trays. These trays are better for the environment, better for health and can be recycled if they are clean! The trays are certified biodegradable and are intended to be composted, but most of the schools do not have the ability to do so. Since they are similar to cardboard, they can be recycled in the blue bins at school if they are clean. What's clean? No food, condiments, grease or other stains. Why? Similar to pizza boxes, once grease and food are absorbed into the fiber tray, its very hard to get back out. Here's a flier and poster.
White lids on recycling containers say "Cans Only"...Why?
The schools use single-stream recycling, where all recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastic, cans and glass) go together in the same bin. It's just like the students have at home! A memo was sent to custodial staff to modify the lids so they are less confusing. If your lids still say "Cans Only", please consult your custodial staff to make the necessary adjustment to avoid confusion.
My students and staff need help with recycling. What can we do?
Contact the County Recycling Division for help! We're happy to provide guidance to help make recycling easier and more successful. The school may need better container placement or increased signage and labeling. Recycling coordinators can also provide presentations to educate the faculty and students. We offer assembly style presentations, grade-by-grade presentations and short 5-minute cafeteria presentations to get the students thinking about what they have in their lunches that can be recycled everyday. The most efficient setup would be 2 assembly-style presentations with follow-up lunchroom presentations to jump start the recycling program and get everyone on board. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
How can I get more containers?
For additional outdoor containers (carts & dumpsters), please contact your custodial staff. For indoor containers, consider using old boxes decorated by the students, ask your local community to donate old blue recycling bins they may no longer be using, or see if your PTA has money to purchase bins. Recycling containers come in all shapes and sizes and don't have to be pretty. Just make sure they are convenient (located right next to trash cans) and are well labeled so everyone knows what they are for.
Did you Know? Howard County held a coloring book contest for grades 3-5 in 2010 and 2013. Here are all of the winning entries to print at home. If you would like a hard copy of the complete 2013 book, please email email@example.com.
Just for Kids:
Recycling Websites for Teachers and Adults: