Waste management for schools

Schools, like any other organisation, need to consider cost-effective and environmentally-sound waste management. The average secondary school produces 22kg of waste per pupil each academic year. The figure for primary schools is even higher at 45kg per pupil. With around 34,000 schools in the UK, there is a massive impact on overall waste production.

So, why is recycling in schools important? Firstly, recycling in schools has the obvious benefit of helping the environment but also, it saves the schools money that would otherwise be spent on waste disposal.

Many different types of waste are produced in schools and it is vital that the schools know what can be recycled and what cannot. For example, paper, which makes up ¼ of waste in schools can be put in a recycling bin provided by the Council.  Compost bins are also provided by the Council which is a good way to get rid of waste from the canteen in a hands-on way that kids love! As well as the physical elements, it is important that the children and teachers alike have the knowledge that they need, so holding discussions in class and assemblies dedicated to the recycling cause will be vital. The teachers need to be setting a good example as well, so that the environmentally friendly ideas filter down to the children. To see more examples of different waste that is produced at school and how it can be recycled, please click here.

There is a lot to consider when recycling in schools. Making it fun is one thing, but it is important to be safe as well. If not stored effectively, rubbish could end up flying around the school, attracting vermin or bees and wasps – every child’s nightmare! To combat this, schools could have different bins for different types of rubbish, for example, a paper bin, a food waste bin, cardboard waste bins and general rubbish bins. This would limit the chance of the bins over flowing as much and attracting unwanted guests. It would also mean that the schools are no longer endangering the local wildlife, as small animals are known for getting caught up in plastic bags and other waste. With specific bins, the waste is more manageable and safe for the children. For more information, click here

Unfortunately, many schools struggle to think of imaginative ways to implement effective waste management in schools. Firstly, it is crucial that the teachers get involved to keep the children enthusiastic. They can set up the recycling bins and run competitions for signs and posters about recycling. The children can help with compost and emptying bins. To integrate recycling into their work, they could address it in science as part of humans and their effect on the environment. For the non-fiction section of English, they could write instructions on how to make compost etc. To manage random waste, schools can have creative challenges using left over paper and other materials as a fun, interactive game for the children. They could also do this in Art, which would save on schools paying for resources.

It may not always be easy as you may encounter members of the school who are not as enthusiastic or engaged in the projects as they could be. To get people engaged, one should remind them of your cause. Recycling does Planet Earth a world of good by diverting waste from landfill and incineration, which will limit the effect of global warming.

To help schools achieve their recycling dreams, ACM offers a variety of different services such as the Greener Path, a long term strategy to help businesses reduce the impact they have on the environment by implementing environmentally sound waste management initiatives.

ACM provides commercial waste disposal and waste management services throughout the UK, using the facilities and expertise to handle virtually any commercial waste, using sustainable solutions that meet all the current legal obligations.

So, schools produce a large majority of waste, and although many try to implement recycling techniques in the curriculum, it is not enough. That is where ACM comes in – to help as many schools as possible in their goal of being safe, responsible, environmentally friendly organisations.

Call us today to discuss your needs 08700 777555 or email


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