How to Keep Schools Litter Free

How to Keep Schools Litter Free

How to Keep Schools Litter Free

There’s a lot of potential for litter to be strewn around the grounds of our schools. Pupils come to school armed with snacks, and often go out to local shops and fast food eateries at lunch time, then bring back their rubbish onto the school grounds. But one school is fast putting at stop to this happening.

Auchenarvie Academy

A 6-week trial campaign has been launched to tackle the problem of litter being dropped outside of schools in North Ayrshire in Scotland. The campaign is called OB-LITTER-ATE and is being trialled at the Auchenarvie Academy in Stevenston. Enforcement officers from the council’s Environmental team will patrol the surrounding areas to identify those who are dropping the litter. There are plans to widen the scheme if it is a success. Pupils face detentions and letters being sent home to their parents if they are caught littering. Not only that, the pupil’s parents will have to pay a fixed penalty if the pupil refuses to volunteer for a litter pick with the school eco group. The local council emphasises that it is not about being draconian, it is about changing attitudes around litter.

Tips for an eco-friendly school

You can set up recycling stations within your school, and encourage pupils to bring in items to be recycled, or to recycle their snack/lunch packaging.

Recycling: What can you recycle within your school?

Most local authorities accept the following recyclables:

Plastic bottles (rinsed, with lids removed)

Newspapers, junk mail, magazines, envelopes, writing paper

Card and cardboard

Clean food and drink cans

Empty aerosols

Top recycling tips for schools

Have a recycling bin in every room, including staff rooms and kitchens

Label recycling and waste bins clearly to avoid the waste getting mixed up.

Get everyone involved. Make sure everyone knows about the importance of recycling.

Get the teachers to lead by example by recycling as much as possible and encouraging pupils to get involved.

Tell people about it. If you have had success with recycling, reducing waste, or reducing litter in your school, tell parents and the local press.

Keep an eye on how any systems you have introduced are going, so you can maintain your success.

Tips on how to reduce litter in your school

Plan a litter picking activity

Make sure you have completed a risk assessment, and that you know how to dispose of litter, and the kinds of waste to avoid picking up.

You can register your event on the Litter Action website.

Hold regular assemblies and talks so that pupils can be given information on why they should avoid littering, what problems it can cause, and what they should do with their litter instead.

Northumberland County Council

Northumberland Council provides equipment and support for local school litter picking events. They provide schools with a ‘Love Northumberland’ certificate, to certify that the school has pledged to take action to reduce litter. The council also can provide waste management staff and even rubbish collection on the day of a litter picking event.