National Recycling Week - My Classroom Waste

National Recycling Week - My Classroom Waste

Lesson 4 of 5 in this unit

  • Primary
  • Year 1 - 2
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Geography
  • Environmental
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this activity students work together to identify where their waste comes from. They decide if various classroom items are able to be ‘reused’, ‘recycled’, ‘composted’ or if it is ‘waste’. They take responsibility for the waste generated by their classroom including managing a reuse box.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • recognise the names and components of different waste materials
  • learn to sort and name a variety of waste materials.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 1 Science:

  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)

Year 1 Geography:

  • The natural, managed and constructed features of places, their location, how they change and how they can be cared for (ACHASSK031)
  • Reflect on learning to propose how to care for places and sites that are important or significant (ACHASSI026)

Year 1 English:

  • Engage in conversations and discussions, using active listening behaviours, showing interest, and contributing ideas, information and questions (ACELY1656)
  • Use interaction skills including turn-taking, recognising the contributions of others, speaking clearly and using appropriate volume and pace (ACELY1788)

Syllabus OutcomesGE1-1, GE1-3ST1-11LW, ST1-9ESEN1-1A

Resources required

  • Classroom containers for rubbish
  • Recycling and a paper reuse box
  • Writing and drawing materials
  • Compost bucket
  • Optional: depending if the school has a composting system. Optional: items of waste – small plastic bottle, large glass jar, piece of paper, aluminium can. If you don’t have access to these items you can draw them on the board instead.


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration

Additional info

Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week started in 1996 to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. This highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change by promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiative. It also gives people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school. In partnership with Planet Ark, we have developed lessons from early learning through to year 10 to help educators bring these important topics into the classroom.

National Recycling Week is held in the second week of November each year but you can recycle all year-round with these lessons which were designed to be used at any time. Click here to find out more about National Recycling Week and the Schools Recycle Right Challenge. 

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