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The ElectroRecycle School Challenge

Recycling at School
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ElectroRecycle has been collaborating with schools throughout BC since 2014, offering an opportunity to compete in our week-long ElectroRecycle school challenge to encourage students to learn about the recycling of small appliances and power tools. Working with both primary and secondary schools offers ElectroRecycle a new way to share our recycling knowledge in the most playful way.

In 2019, we were lucky to work with Victoria West Elementary on Vancouver Island, Arrow Heights Elementary in Revelstoke as well as Queen Elizabeth Elementary and Dr. R. E. McKechnie Elementary in Vancouver. We collected hundreds of broken small appliances through these recycling challenges, but more importantly, we had the opportunity to educate students about good recycling practices. Amy Lee is a teacher at Dr. R. E. McKechnie Elementary in Kerrisdale, one of our most recent participating schools in the 2019 School Recycling Challenge series. Ms. Lee took some time to chat with us about the Recycling Challenge, as well as initiatives that are already in place at McKechnie.

McKechnie Elementary’s Green Initiatives

Ms. Lee explained that “Dr. R. E McKechnie Elementary already recycles markers/pens through a dedicated recycling bin located in classrooms throughout the year”. Did you know that you could take all your used pens and markers to your nearest Staples store for recycling? TerraCycle and Staples Canada have partnered to provide a second life for used writing instruments. Staples is collecting these used items at over 300 locations across Canada and has already successfully diverted over 2 million writing instruments from ending up in landfills. If your school is interested, great news – participating in this recycling program is free!  Once the bin is full, you can bring your used writing instruments to your nearest participating Staples location to be recycled.

Hand holding pens/markers. Sourced from Unsplash.

Each classroom in Dr. R. E McKechnie Elementary also has a set of cloths they use to help reduce the consumption of paper towels. That’s amazing! Every little green choice makes a difference. Since the school was already committed to promoting reuse and recycling, it was an easy decision for them to participate in the Challenge.

The students’ commitment to the Recycling Challenge

Ms. Lee mentioned that students were excited to collect broken small appliances and power tools that they knew were sitting at home. Ms. Lee’s classroom also wanted to contribute to the Recycling Challenge advertising campaign, so the students put their creativity to work. They drew posters to put up around the school to identify the types of items ElectroRecycle accepts, as well as examples of products that are not part of the program, such as electronics (phones, TVs, laptops, etc.).

Drawing for ElectroRecycle school challenge in BC

Over the week-long period of the recycling challenge, the students of McKechnie Elementary collected 69 kg of small appliances & power tools, the equivalent of a dolphin!

Coming up next: the Francophone School Recycling Challenge!

We have reached out to host our next week-long Recycling Challenge with some of Vancouver’s francophone schools in 2020!  We are working with Albor Pacific, a BC-based social enterprise offering educational services about the environment. Their EcoNova environmental program aims at building up an environmental culture for both primary and secondary schools. We will be partnering up to include ElectroReycle’s Recycling Challenge in their January 2020 program.

If we’ve piqued your interest in participating in our School Recycling Challenge, we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us at info@cesarecycling.ca.

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