school litter binsIs your school playground overrun with litter?  Are you finding it difficult to encourage pupils to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle?  If so, it could be time to enrol your school in the Eco-Schools Education Programme and invest in some new litter bins that will encourage future generations to dispose of their waste responsibly.

The Eco-Schools Programme is an anti-litter campaign that was set up by leading environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy in 1994. Designed to help both primary and secondary schools become more sustainable, the programme covers nine key environmental topics including water, healthy living, waste, school playgrounds, and litter, and provides schools with a simple framework that teaches pupils how to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives.

Fast-forward some 20 years, and over 70% of all schools in England have registered with the Eco-Schools Programme, and due to its huge success in the UK, Eco-Schools has now become an international award programme that is run in more than 50 countries across the globe including France, South Africa and Morocco. But sadly, litter continues to be a problem that many schools face.

In the United Kingdom, state-funded schools are required by law to keep their grounds litter free or face fines of up to £2,500, which is perhaps why many are installing new litter bins, rubbish receptacles, and recycling centres.

Studies show that by improving school grounds with brightly coloured bins, signage, and recycling boxes, it is possible to encourage students to dispose of their waste responsibly, and if your school is not achieving its recycling targets, here are 5 Signs That Your School Needs to Buy New Litter Bins Now…

1.       Poor Signage

There’s no point in investing in new litter bins and recycling receptacles if your students cannot find them.  They need to be strategically placed in areas where children congregate such as playgrounds and outside assembly halls, and if necessary, accompanied with sign posts that clearly indicate what type of rubbish should go in which bin.

2.       Unpleasant Odours

No one likes cleaning out rubbish bins, but if they are not cleaned daily, unpleasant odours will soon start to emanate, and that could be enough to put kids off. The easiest ways to keep litter bins clean is by using bin liners that are changed daily, and rinsing the bin every week with anti-bacterial detergents.

3.       Un Cool

Are your school litter bins ugly and old fashioned?  If so, why not replace them with cool Blackboard Drinks Can Litter Bins that will have kids queuing up to use! Primary schools should take advantage of the many novelty bins available, where you will find animal shaped bins, pencil shaped bins, and smiley face bins, all of which are specially designed to attract younger children.

4.       Health & Safety

Do your litter bins pose health and safety risks?  Are they a fire risk, or do they attract the local vermin and wildlife? If you answered yes to any of the above, it is essential that you buy new school litter bins to replace your old ones as soon as possible.  Wall or post mounted bins must be securely fixed with the appropriate fixtures, and freestanding rubbish bins should be secured to the floor with ground fixing bolts to prevent them from toppling over and causing injuries.

 WRAP Recycling Colours5.       WRAP Compliant Colours

If you want to encourage recycling in schools, you need to create a recycling station where students can dispose of their plastic bottles, aluminium cans, paper bags, and sweet wrappers in one convenient location.  Recycling bins are available in a variety of different shapes, sizes and designs to suit every school, and by choosing those with WRAP compliant colour-coded lids and recycling stickers, you can help students to identify the various recyclable waste streams and facilitate litter disposal.

Of course, new rubbish bins will not solve your litter problems overnight, and education is essential if we are to teach future generations the importance of waste disposal and recycling, but by combining the two, it is possible to change bad behaviours and encourage our children to make better choices when it comes to throwing away their rubbish.

Young people play a vital role in the future sustainability of our planet, and by introducing the Eco-Schools Environmental Education Programme and a selection of brand new litter bins, both you and your pupils can take a step in the right direction when it comes to keeping Great Britain Tidy and practicing the Three Rs.