How schools can set up a printer recycling initiative

Want to set up a recycling initiative at your school but not sure how to get going? Well we've put together a little guide that gives you some pointers.

Why recycle?

Why recycle at all? Simple: it's great for the environment. And it's a particularly good idea for schools to encourage recycling because it instils some green practices in young people from an early age.

Getting started

Get people involved

A project such as a recycling programme requires support from all over the school – from senior management, to chefs, to parents and pupils.

Find out who's passionate about recycling in your school and hold an initial meeting. From there, a good idea is to assemble a core team and assign them specific roles.

A great way to get pupils involved is to appointing recycling 'champions' – say one pupil for each year group who can be the mouthpiece of the project.

Think about involving parents too – you could promote the scheme to them via a newsletter and encourage pupils to tell their mums and dads about it.

What will you recycle?

Decide what you can recycle. Think printers, ink and toner cartridges, other plastics, paper, batteries and clothing.

Get some equipment

Now you need some kit. Recycling bins can be bought quite cheaply and you might even be able to negotiate something with your council or waste management provider.

Some signage and posters would be good too, and you could even consider some branded clothing for your recycling champions?

Roll it out

OK  - you've got your team, you know what you can recycle and you've got the equipment to do it – it's action stations.

Consider either a recycling point in every room or, if resources are a little tight, placed at key parts of your school. There will be places where the number of bits for recycling are high – such as computer and printer room and, of course, classrooms.

Another good idea is to put both rubbish bins and recycling bins together – to encourage people to recycle at the same time they come to throw something away.


Ensure you set up a rota so that your recycling bins are emptied on a regular basis. One idea might be to ask your recycling champions to organise a team of recyclers to do this – another great way to get pupils involved.

You could even consider a month-long trial to gauge the success of the project. This way, you'll be able to work out if you need to make an changes – such as more recycling bins or better promotion of the initiative.

Implementing a recycling programme in school requires a bit of initial hard work, but the benefits really pay off. You'll go from a school that throws away most of its rubbish to one that recycles almost everything it can.

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