United  States
Environmental Protection
April 1990
Solid Waste and Emergency Response   (OS-305)

                   In recent years, the so-called
                     "garbage crisis"  has  grabbed
                      the  attention of the  nation
                      and the world.  Overloaded
                      and closing  landfills and
                      barges laden  with  trash
                      graphically illustrate  the
                      problems created  by a
                    "throwaway" society.  Faced
                  with ever-increasing  amounts  of
garbage and no place to put  it all,  more and more
Americans are recognizing  the need for action.

   Young people can play  an especially important
role in solving the  garbage  gluts  of today-and
tomorrow.  School  teachers and administrators  are
in a unique  position  to  help  students fulfill  this
role. With  the  proper tools, educators can  help
students respect the  environment,  become aware
of their impact upon it,  and  develop positive
attitudes and behaviors.  In many instances, young
people can change  their parents' habits, too.

   Recycle Today! provides a varied, entertain-
ing,  and informative  way for  educators  to  teach
young  people about  recycling and other solid
waste  issues.  This  comprehensive  educational
program,  developed  by the Office of Solid Waste,
U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency  (EPA) in
partnership with  national  educational  associa-
tions,  aims to raise  students'  environmental
awareness through  classroom  activities and
hands-on  recycling  projects.  Although  it focuses
on solid waste, Recycle Today! incorporates
broader  sociological,  economic, and  scientific
information about  the world we live  in. What
students learn  goes  beyond the classroom, since
the program  emphasizes how they can make
changes in their daily habits  and throughout  their

   Recycle Today! consists of four publications
that focus  on the  importance  of recycling,  and
how it can have an  impact on trash management
and the environment. These  publications  make it
easy for teachers to  introduce recycling into their
classroom  by  providing  lesson plans,  resource
materials,  and practical  projects for  students to
work on at school and at home. To allow  for
maximum  teacher flexibility,  the publications
may be  used individually, or as a package.
The "Garbage Gremlin," which appears throughout
Recycle Today!, represents the wasteful habits many
of us unknowingly perpetuate. Students are encouraged
to recognize and reject the ways of the "Gremlin" as
they learn how to be responsible, environmentally
conscious citizens.

 Let's  Recycle: A Curriculum for Solid Waste
 Awareness presents lessons and activities to
 teach  students in grades K-12  about solid waste
 generation and  management. The bulk of the
 curriculum is composed  of  logically  ordered,
 highly  interactive  activities for  students at  school
 and beyond. Each unit presents a series of related
 lessons  with  vocabulary  words,  discussion
 questions,  and  projects.  Practical  teaching  aids,
 such as handouts, worksheets,  clip art,  and a short
 skit are  also included, along with a glossary and
 bibliography  of  additional sources of  information.
 The curriculum covers such  issues as the value of
 natural  resources,  the  importance of recycling,
 and  the responsibility each
 person  bears for  the generation
 and disposal of  his or her trash.
The  curriculum  also  provides
 an avenue for teachers to incor-
porate   information about  their
own community into the

         To introduce the concept of
         renewable versus nonrenewable
         natural resources.
ement system. Help students
« ihey are the result of gcolog.
materials are in limited supply

and cardboard come from the i
„ a faster rate than n can be prc
"on, students should be able,,
•able and nonrenewable resoi

  Aluminum cans, from bou

  Tin-plalcd steel cans. Iron

  Glass boltles, from sand,
  plentiful supply!

  Paper, from wood trenev

  Cardboard, from wood (

   Organic waste, such as [

   Plastic containers or Da
, collection oftans that would
jr, should include examples of |
udems to examine these produc
   In the discussion, point
                                                                 GRADE LEVEL
                                                                 The curriculum is
                                                                 divided into two
                                                                 major sections: one
                                                                 for grades
                                                                 kindergarten through
                                                                 6, and one for grades
                                                                 7 through 12.
School Recycling Programs:  A  Handbook
for Educators describes a number of school
recycling program  options,  along with step-by-
step instructions on how to set up a program.
The  handbook  focuses  on  implementing  actual
recycling projects,  and  highlights several success
stories from around the country. It  also introduces
the President's  Environmental  Youth Awards, a
national  program that recognizes  outstanding
efforts of young people to  protect  the  environ-
ment.  Since  school recycling  programs are
excellent candidates for the President's Environ-
mental Youth Awards, the  handbook provides
instructions on  how schools can apply to this
program. The handbook also  identifies sources
for more  information  and  additional related

    Ride the Wave of the Future: Recycle Today!
    promotes recycling through a colorful poster
    designed to appeal to all grade levels. A joint
    effort between EPA and the National Science
    Teachers Association, the poster appeared in the
    The Science Teacher and can be displayed in
    conjunction with recycling activities or used to
    help foster recycling.
          IN GRADES 4-7
    Adventures of the Garbage Gremlin: Recycle
    and Combat a Life of Grime introduces
    students in grades 4-7 to the benefits of recycling
    through an engaging comic book approach.
    Students are led on a lively adventure where they
    encounter the problems associated with garbage
    and watch their peers foil a scheme of the
    "Garbage Gremlin" to make their school his new
    home. The comic book describes the recycling
    process in a thorough yet entertaining way that
    speaks to students directly and  encourages them
    to assess their present attitudes and behaviors.

    Recycle Today! was developed with
    participation from the following national
    education associations:

    • National Association of Biology Teachers

    • American Federation of Teachers

    • National Science Teachers Association

    • Council for American Private Education

    • National Parent-Teacher Association
How to  Obtain these  Publications
   To order these publications  at no cost from
EPA, fill in the coupon below and send it to: The
RCRA  Information Center (OS-305), US. EPA,
401 M  Street SW, Washington  DC 20460.
   Please Send:
   D Curriculum (EPA/530-SW-90-005)
   D How-to Handbook (EPA/SW-90-023)
   n Comic Book (EPA/530-SW-90-024)
   D Poster (EPA/530-SW-90-010)


   State                Zip
       •U.S. Government Printing Office: 1991 — 525-417
          Printed on recycled paper


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