School Recycling


Every Private or Public school in Broome County is required to recycle by law as stated in the Broome County Charter and Code Chapter 179.  Failure of any facility to comply can result in a fine. 

Steps for a Successful Recycling Program

  • Organize a team.
    • Obtain administration support, involve custodial staff, student representative and a teacher representative.
    • For additional assistance include the County Materials Recovery Manager.
  • Evaluate your waste stream: Look at which recyclables are generated in different areas throughout the school to determine where recycling containers should be placed.
      • Administrative offices- cardboard, office paper, toner cartridges
      • Cafeteria- steel cans, glass, cardboard, plastics and aluminum cans
      • Classrooms- mixed paper and bottle and cans
      • Vending areas- bottles and cans (glass, aluminum & plastic)
      • Library- mixed paper, books, magazines, newspaper and cardboard
  • Recycling Containers should be paired with a garbage can.
    • Consider containers specified for the material being collected such as round opening for beverage containers and slots for paper.
    • Make sure containers are well labeled as recycling.
  • Establish a collection and storage system.
    • Discuss with custodial staff and devise a plan that will work for your school. 
    • Remember collecting recycling separate from the garbage does not increase the amount of material generated.
    • The school can potentially decrease the size of the current dumpster or the number of pick-ups.
  • Education is key.
    • Set up a program to educate both students and staff.
    • Provide program updates to students and staff to demonstrate the positive environmental impact the program is having. This can be done by weighing materials collected and tracking tonnage. 
    • Each month the tonnage of materials can be correlated to water, oil and energy saved in addition to greenhouse gas emissions and the school carbon footprint.

Resources for Teachers & Educators

Need More Help?

If you would like further assistance with developing or improving a program, locating outlets for materials or educational outreach please contact Allison McGovern, Materials Recovery Manager at 607.778.2308.

The Broome County Division of Solid Waste has a series of educational programs available to schools for free.  Programs are conducted by staff and through a contract with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).  For more information on educational programs, please call 607.778.2397.