What to do with our snack packaging

Division 10 at Maywood Community School

Maywood Community School
  • Mixed Primary School Grades
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

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Maywood Recycles Soft Plastics and Flexible Packaging At Maywood Community School, we noticed how much waste we were creating with our snack foods. Much of that waste could be recycled. We decided to add Soft Plastic and Flexible Packaging recycling to our already comprehensive recycling system. In our hallways, we have stackable recycling containers that we call “Recycling Towers.” To each tower, we added a Soft Plastic and Flexible Packaging container. Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, student recycling monitors transfer the tower contents into larger toters to be picked up by the city recycling trucks. At the beginning of the year, classroom teachers spent time teaching the recycling regime to their students, including the new Soft Plastic and Flexible Packaging. Classroom teachers were also asked if they would like to take part in sorting the Soft Plastic and Flexible Packaging items, and delivering them, with their classes, 100 metres down the street to the recycling depot. At the moment, Soft Plastic and Flexible Packaging items can only be recycled at participating businesses and are not picked up by city recycling. We are pleased to have 90% of our classroom teachers participating in our new recycling initiative by involving their classes in the sorting and delivering process! Our photo essay shows our Grade 2/3 class reviewing and participating in the sorting process, using our sorting guides, and delivering the recycling to the local depot. You can see in the photos, some students listening to the sound the different materials make. This helps us to sort correctly. Another quick test is to see if we can stick our thumb through the material or not. You can also see students ripping or cutting the zippers off of zipper bags because they cannot be recycled. Our class also volunteers to take other recycling to the depot such as electronics, batteries, and polystyrene (Styrofoam). The students in our class enjoy the sorting and delivering and wish it was their turn more often! An upcoming addition to our project is recognizing those who are using our recycling system correctly. A community group closely tied with our school has kindly made reusable snack pouches out of scrap fabric. Our long-term hope is that we will be able to encourage students and families to further reduce their waste by sending healthy snacks to school in reusable containers and pouches. After Spring Break, our own class is going to learn how to make our own reusable bee's wax food wraps!