Recycling Education Toolkit
The key to successful recycling education is...RECYCLING!
Recycling your education outreach, that is.
Ongoing, consistent messaging through signage, videos, social media, or mailings - and often a mix of all - is the best way to support a successful recycling program within your community.
In this Recycling Education Toolkit, you will find examples of NRRA recycling education materials free to use and share, videos about what happens to items when they are recycled, and resources from other recycling organizations that may be helpful.
Recycling 101 Presentation: Available as a PowerPoint presentation or as a prerecorded video presentation, so operators can present to local community groups. We suggest showing the 30 minute video presentation with a follow up question and answer session with local transfer station or solid waste and recycling management operators to answer community-specific questions about recycling.
Customized Recycling Handouts and Website Images: Let us help you! We can create customized postcards, half-page handouts, and website images for your recyclables. Contact our Communications Manager for more information!
Recycle Right Toolkit: Social media posts, printables, and videos to share with residents on websites, social media, or in print. Good for all communities, includes information specific to communities with source separated recycling.
- Life of an Aluminum Can - Created by PepsiCo Recycling.
- Recycling Aluminum - HowStuffWorks video. Find out why recycling aluminum makes it virtually indestructible.
- Aluminum cans manufacturing and recycling - Created by NV atCEPImperial. Learn how aluminum cans are made and also how they are recycled.
- Aluminum Recycling Process - Created by Keep America Beautiful, the "I want to be Recycled" recycling journey pages takes you from the sorting process through to the manufacturing process of a new product made with recycled material!
- Battery Recycling - Created by Curiosity Quest. Joel Greene, Host of PBS television show, Curiosity Quest, visits a battery recycling plant in Michigan to learn what goes on behind the scenes on how batteries get recycled. He also learns the importance of recycling batteries so that different part do not wind up at the landfill. If fact, on this tour, each battery is 100% recycled. Get a glimpse of the half hour episode.
- Lead Battery Recycling Process - Created by Battery Council International (BCI). Find out about the lead battery recycling process.
- Lead Battery Recycling - Created by HowStuffWorks. Find out how lead acid batteries are recycled and prepared for reuse in this clip from Discovery Channel's "HowStuffWorks" show.
- (NRRA Video) How to Recycle Batteries - Every year fires caused by improper battery disposal cost waste, recycling, and scrap operators over 1.2 billion dollars! Properly disposing of your batteries saves money and lives, by lessening the chance of a fire breaking out at a facility.
- Maine Compost School - The Maine Compost School provides training and educational experiences to farmers, business persons, and government workers by combining classroom presentations with “get-your-hands-dirty”, interactive opportunities. Maine Compost School prides itself on the various applications of composting.
- Tour of the Compost Company's Industrial Composting Facility - The Compost Company produces high-quality soils and mulch products for professionals and homeowners. These custom soils are blended to specification for Bio-retention, Rain Gardens or Erosion control; used on lawns, shrubs, trees, and flower beds.
- How Industrial Composting Works - Created by Eco-Products.
- Beginner's Guide to Composting - Created by Nelson City Council. This video walks through how to set up a household compost bin.
- Composting for Kids - Created by Highfields Composting. Highfields Center for Composting presents an animated teaching guide for starting a compost program in your school. In this brief video, students will learn about compost, the importance of closing the loop on their food system and how to separate food scraps effectively.
- End Food Waste Videos - Created by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA), a series of videos specific to food waste diversion. Videos are available in six languages.
- Life Kit: Composting - Created by NPR, this Life Kit goes over the composting at home process (with both audio and text) in a 5-step process.
- How do we recycle glass? Created by Strategic Materials (SMI). Have you ever wondered what happens to your glass after you place it in your curbside bin? Take a behind-the-scenes tour of one of SMI's most comprehensive glass recycling facilities in the U.S., located in Delavan, Wisconsin. A variety of glass is accepted, processed, screened and color sorted to make furnace-ready, recycled glass called cullet. Cullet is used to make new glass bottles or fiberglass insulation, supporting a true circular economy.
- What *REALLY* happens to 'Recycled' Glass?! - Created by JerryRigEverything. What really happens to Recycled Glass? Can Glass be recycled? How do I recycle glass? Today we answer all of these questions and more.
- (NRRA Video) Processed Glass Aggregate - NRRA allows communities in NH, VT, and MA to recycle their glass by crushing it into a product called processed glass aggregate (PGA), which can be used in infrastructure projects in the place of gravel and sand.
- Glass Recycling Process - Created by Keep America Beautiful, the "I want to be Recycled" recycling journey pages takes you from the sorting process through to the manufacturing process of a new product made with recycled material!
- The Paper Recycling Process - Created by Domtar. Learn about the various steps that paper must got through to be recycled with this video, produced in collaboration with Recyclebank.
- (NRRA Video) What Happens When You Recycle Cardboard? Have you ever wondered what happens to your cardboard box once you put it in your recycling bin or drop it off at your transfer station? Here's a quick look at how cardboard can be recycled up to 6 times!
- How It Works: Paper Recycling - Episode 27 of How It Works. Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees from being cut down and pulped, here's how paper is recycled.
- Paper and Cardboard Recycling - created by the Springfield, MA MRF, this video tackles single stream recycling of paper and cardboard.
- Paper Recycling Process - Created by Keep America Beautiful, the "I want to be Recycled" recycling journey pages takes you from the sorting process through to the manufacturing process of a new product made with recycled material!
- Life of a Plastic Bottle - Created by PepsiCo Recycling.
- What really happens to the plastic you throw away - TED-Ed lesson by Emma Bryce. Emma Bryce traces the life cycles of three different plastic bottles, shedding light on the dangers these disposables present to our world.
- A brief history of plastic - Created by TED-Ed. Trace the history of the invention of plastic, and how the material ushered in what became known as the plastics century.
- Container Recycling - Created by the Springfield, MA MRF, this video looks at single-stream recycling of containers, including plastics.
- Butter Tub (plastics) Recycling Process - Created by Keep America Beautiful, the "I want to be Recycled" recycling journey pages takes you from the sorting process through to the manufacturing process of a new product made with recycled material!
STEEL or TIN
- Steel Appeal - The Story of Steel Recycling - Created by Recycle Devon, "
- Amazing Scale! Process of Making I-Bean with Metal Scrap - Created by Factory Monster, this video shows you up-close steel recycling. There is no voice-over, but very funny captioning. This video is highly entertaining while being educational!
- Metal Can Recycling - What do they become? This 10 second video by Homewood Disposal gives an example of some things tin can turn into.
- Can I Recycle That? Metal Containers - Created by PepsiCo Recycle Rally, this video answers the question:
- How Do They Recycle Steel? Created by the National Film Board, in "How Do They Recycle Steel?" sparks fly and molten metal runs white hot on its way from scrap to fresh steel. This is a film without words.
- House Made of Steel | I Didn't Know That - Created by National Geographic, steel is strong, versatile, and 100% recyclable. Learn how old steel shipping containers are given a new lease on life as liveable spaces.
- Steel Food Can Recycling Process - Created by Keep America Beautiful, the "I want to be Recycled" recycling journey pages takes you from the sorting process through to the manufacturing process of a new product made with recycled material!
Additional Recycling Education Resources
Windham Solid Waste Management District (VT) Recycling Resources: Created under a 2022 USDA grant, includes helpful videos (such as "Where is Away?"), signage for transfer stations, school posters, residential flyers, and business resources.
Gilford, NH Recycle Right: Great example of flyers, recycling information, and website template for other source separated recycling communities in NH.
Recycle Right New York: Social media posts and printables to share with residents on websites and social media. Especially good for communities with single-stream or dual-stream recycling.
PepsiCo Recycling: Simple and accessible recycling education for individuals. Includes the Can I Recycle That video series of short educational videos and Recycle Rally program to boost excitement around sustainability aimed at schools.
The following resources have been created by NRRA in regards to battery recycling. This is a dynamic and up-to-date listing of all battery-related resources.