Rev Up Recycling

At the end of the collection period, weigh the trash. Then unload the bags and sort the contents into categories, such as paper, plastics, cleaners, etc. Examine the trash to find out what is currently being thrown away and how much of it can be recycled. Use this information to figure out how more trash can be recycled. This is a messy process, so plenty of plastic gloves and a resistance to the “ugh response” are needed. The ultimate goal of the audit is to determine the weight of the trash and how to increase the weight of the recyclables.

Train Staff

A recycling program is only as effective as the people who actually do the recycling. In the case of a camp, that is the entire staff. Each employee needs to be familiar with the camp policy, the reasons it is important, and the everyday procedures for collecting and sorting trash. Make time following the audit to meet with each department and to share the results. Be sure to show some of the trash and talk about specific ways some of it can be recycled.

Introduce the recycling policy and camp practices to the summer staff. Those members are an important link in the chain between the policy and the campers and guests. Remind staff that recycling begins in the staff lounge!

Interpret The Policy To Guests

One reason to recycle at camp is to reduce the camp’s environmental footprint. However, it is also equally important to interpret the policy and practices to campers and guests. Here are some suggestions:

• Post a list of reasons to recycle in a variety of locations. Download a list from the Internet or create your own.

• Include a statement about recycling in written materials sent out to campers and guests prior to arriving in camp. If you use recycled paper, insert the recycling symbol on all written materials.

• Provide containers for recycling in the dining hall, meeting rooms and cabins. Mark them clearly so they will not be confused for trashcans.

Place trashcans and recycling containers near areas where campers and guests enjoy refreshments or play games.

Make information about recycling a part of the verbal welcome to campers and guests. Point out where to find recycling containers as well as what is recycled at camp.

Invite campers and guests to be part of the recycling efforts by letting them sort paper, squash cans, and flatten boxes.

Place reminders to recycle on dining tables and cabin doors.

Nancy Ferguson is an Outdoor Ministries consultant, specializing in the creation of program resources for faith-based camps. She is the author of several books, including Training Staff to be Spiritual Leaders. She can be reached via e-mail at nanfergi@aol.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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  5. Increase Waste And Recycling Collection

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