Recycling bins were set up at my high school in early April upon returning from Spring Break. April 11-12.

Two strategic locations were an art room and graphic design room. The others were in locations where teachers could motivate students. For example, our STEM program director agreed to offer incentive volunteer points (volunteer points are a necessity for our STEM program students) for donations. The agreement was that they had to donate 5 items to earn a point.

Signs were placed at drinking fountains all over the school to advertise. Several whiteboards in classrooms were also marked with signs.

Further locations for bins: A local middle school participated, and I placed a recycling bin at an active church with a preschool program. They placed the bin in the arts classroom.

Updates and tips:

Given the short duration of our drive, recycling was spotty at the high school. The reason for this is that the year is winding down and noise and pressure are high. It was impossible to be heard over all the other pressing needs students have at this time.

My recommendation for future drives is to do it twice a year and early in the semester. Allow time, plan incentives, and raise awareness to motivate people.

Some ideas are:

  • School announcements.

  • The student led news channels

  • Club social media channels

  • Suggest incentives for teachers to offer students who donate.

In our case, we raised so much material through community drives, we drowned in material. The recycling drives were placed quickly while we worked hard to prepare material not only for the charity that needed it right away, but also for our other kits. The process of sorting material and prepping what we had led us to concentrate on workshops. In a normal process, we would focus more on promoting awareness campaigns.

sample box in schools

School drives should be focused on raising awareness among students and finding ways to sustain the kits. That will be the goal next year when the program is continued in our sustaining school.


About the Author: Taryn Claassens
Taryn is the Founder of the Mind-Full project and passionate about all things mental health. When she is not advocating you can find her playing the violin, listening to music or making art.