Climate for Action: Start a Paper Recycling Program at Your School

About the Author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

image of children dumping bins of paper into a mixed paper recycling collection bin.There are many successful paper recycling programs that schools start every year and their efforts certainly make a big difference. For example, 28 schools in Central Virginia started a paper recycling program in 2007 and have been able to collect more than 156 tons of paper to date. The 156 tons of paper that they recycled have saved more than 2,000 trees, 823,000 gallons of water, and 411 yards of landfill space.

Why not become a climate ambassador and educate your classmates about the benefits of paper recycling? By recycling your schools used paper, you can save water, energy, landfill space and you can reduce the impacts of deforestation and global climate change.

If you are interested in starting a paper recycling program at your school, here’s a guide for you to follow to help make your program successful:

  • Talk to your principal about setting up a collection for paper waste and finding a local paper recycler.
  • Educate your school about the importance of paper recycling and what bins to recycle their used paper in.
  • Organize a club to help make sure that the bins are being used properly.

You can make a big difference by starting a paper recycling program at your school. With every ton of paper that your school recycles, the EPA estimates that you can help save 7,000 gallons of water, 3.3 yards of landfill space and reduce one ton of carbon from entering into the atmosphere. So, become involved in helping your school protect the environment – start a paper recycling program and educate others on the importance of recycling. Be sure to let us know if you plan on starting a paper recycling program and why.

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