It's great to start the tradition of recycling with children, and one great way to do this is by having a competition between classrooms to see who can recycle the most. Find out how to use recycled aluminum as a fundraiser for schools with help from a solid waste planning engineer and recycling program coordinator in this free video on recycling for kids.
Hi, my name is Lynn Bestul. I'm the Solid Waste Planner for New Hanover County in North Carolina. I'm here today to talk to you a little bit about recycling for kids. And where else is the best place for us to start that recycling tradition? Start them young, and by the time they're as old as me, they will know everything there is to do about recycling. So at schools, there's a number of ways to get kids involved. You can have competition between classrooms in collecting the water bottles throughout the classes -- who brings in the most bottles from home. Or you can even use some of the recycling materials such as aluminum as fundraisers for the schools. You could see which classroom can bring in the most aluminum cans and then you can, of course, sell those aluminum cans to bring some money into the classrooms. All schools, I know, could use funding. So...any additional funding. So teaching them at that early age to do the recycling is very important. They've got so many things at school that they can show the teacher on the benefits that they've got with recycling. Once they learn it at school, they can take it home. The recycling that they've learned from their households -- from mom and dad -- they can bring that information into the schools. The schools can benefit with recycling as well. Sometimes they can actually start a major recycling program at the school, and the schools can end up saving some money. So again, the children are the key. The kids are the ones that we want to learn the recycling. So let's keep promoting recycling for the children and keeping them going at school. That's primarily the information for getting the children involved. Here's a little mechanism you could use to get the kids interested and show them how to do some recycling. Just take some old paper. Tear it up, shred it up like this. Put that paper into a blender, put it about half full with water, half full of paper. Make sure the water is warm -- hot is a little better. It softens that paper. You'll run the blender for about 50 seconds. It mulches it up, it liquefies it, it turns it into a pulp. Then you take a screening system. You can actually take a window screen and staple it to an old wooden picture frame and dip it inside. Let the pulp go on top of the screen, take that screen, set it on another piece of a paper -- a newspaper or fabric. let it dry out a little bit. You can even take a sponge to try to help dry it. And then you would take another piece of newspaper or fabric and roll on top of that paper. That just helps dry it a little bit more and flatten it. Once it dries, you can pull it up and this would be your paper that you've made. It will dry and it'll tear just like paper. And this is a great way to get children involved with recycling.