Action Tips: Start a Recycling Program in a Public Place


People like to chow down at the mall or in the park, and that waste usually gets trashed incorrectly. Start a recycling program at a popular hangout in the following ways:

Contact the Central Office

  • Commercial areas like malls have a central office that a security officer can direct you to. Parks and other government spaces are run out of city hall. Call these places and let them know you and friends are volunteering to set up their recycling program.

What to recycle

  • What can be recycled depends on what types of materials are being thrown away. Contact recycling centers and see what they accept.

Decorate the Bins

  • Now it's time to set up the recycling bins. You need different colors or shapes for all different recyclables. Label the outside with what is allowed in them so that consumers know what they can throw away.

Schedule Pick-Ups

  • Organize your volunteers to pick up the recycling at the location and bring them to the recycling center. Make sure the volunteers have:
    • Reliable transportation
    • Strong plastic bags to withstand liquid leaks

Tips for your program

  • Consider holding a kick-off event at the site and perhaps tracking and graphing your recycling success.
  • Your recycling might pay you for the bottles you drop off. Use that money to buy the materials you need to keep the program going.

Tell us what you're doing. GO

Sources: St. Charles County Division of Environmental Service, E-How, Recycle Works