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lake view high school recycling

Chicago, IL
lake view high school recycling

The main goal for our project is to help our school community learn to properly recycle and emphasize the importance of recycling. Currently Lake View has blue recycling bins for paper only, however, students often place other recycling items and even food into these bins. Our solution to this problem is to create a receptacle made out of wood that separates the different types of recyclable materials, specifically paper and plastic. This will all take place in Lake View High School hallways.

Apoyemos a los estudiantes ya que es un bien para la comunidad del la escuela; Let’s support these students for the good of the school environment..... Isisel’s (Mom)

Apoyemos a los estudiantes ya que es un bien para la comunidad del la escuela; Let’s support these students for the good of the school environment..... Isisel’s (Mom)

Molly Bauman Delafield, WI

I work in a school and constantly have to remove items improperly placed into the various recycling receptacles each day. Even after instructing students many times about proper bin usage and also using signage, they can't seem to get it right. I also know a lot of schools do not recycle at all. I love that you are trying to change the passive behavior of others around you. How specifically will the wooden bin stop individuals from putting food and other improper items into the bin?

We are thinking about labeling the bin and also having a trash can next to it so students can make the connection of what goes where. Later on, if students tend to misplace their waste, we can make a school announcement regarding what the bin is for.

Lindsay Buckwell Chicago, IL

Love this idea! I remember you talking about having signage above the receptacle that will explain what types of materials to put in which section of the bin. Looking forward to seeing what that looks like!

Marge Anderson Madison, WI

Great idea creating a better visual cue to drive behavior change!

Samson Montes Chicago, IL

Everyone would appreciate new places to recycle, the community would look better and be more green.

Good overall design, will this bin be inside or outside the school?

How many are you going to make

We are right now making a prototype of this and seeing how well it turns out and if successful, we plan to install more than 1.

This is great for the city and shows people still care so good job you guys and keep it up!

I like how you mentioned that the recycle bins in high schools, that are meant for only paper, are being used for food too. I like the solution that you came up with to tackle this problem.

I really like how you are going to make bins for different materials. So what is going to be the difference between the blue recycling bins and the ones you are making.

I really like that you guys are taking action on the very important issue that is recycling. Righteous!

Meghan Sovell Chicago, IL

This has been an ongoing issue at Lake View and wooden receptacles might help people see that it is a recycling bin and not a garbage...

Laura Bringer Chicago, IL

Absolutely! We need to have clear bins and signs which can be reinforced by the teachers to help make sure more materials make it into the recycling and not the garbage. Whatever we can do to support!

Lee Shaver Madison, WI

Sounds like a good project. How will you educate students about what types of items go into which bin?

Thank you for bringing this up, this is something we are going to implement in our project, we plan on making a sign that indicates what goes where and even color coding our receptacle.

Joy Scrogum Champaign, IL

I'm not sure how a wooden bin will help with sorting in any way, although if you're considering reclaimed/reused wood, I applaud the idea. Generally, people are conditioned to recognize blue bins as being for recycling, black as trash/landfill, and green for composting/food scraps. I'd suggest staying with that color-coding; if you're building bins out of wood to help off-set the costs to your school of adding bins, paint them accordingly. Clear signage is key; as noted in another comment, people tend to put things in the wrong bin even with clear signage. I recommend using color-coded signs with pictures as well as words, and messages in more than just English depending on the demographics at your school. You can customize and print signs at Also consider having student volunteer "bin angels" stationed at the sorting area during lunch periods and events to help folks figure out what materials go in which bin. If you do that at least for a while after introducing your new bins, it can help reduce contamination. See for an example of a big project that incorporated volunteers helping at bins. See and for design inspiration.