Bring Environmental Education and Recycling Lessons to Your Afterschool Program

A guest blog by Republic Services

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The Environmental Protection Agency estimates about 75% of waste in America is recyclable. However, only 30% of it actually gets recycled. Teaching students and young children the value of recycling will help increase good recycling habits and support the creation of a more sustainable tomorrow.

Republic Services, a leader in the environmental services industry, is partnering with Mizzen by Mott to offer recycling lessons and activities for use by afterschool professionals and at-home educators. To help instructors teach kids of all ages about environmental health and sustainability, Republic Services created fun and engaging resources to support efforts to teach kids of all ages how and why to recycle.

Launched in 2019, the Recycling Simplified Education Program aligns with individual grade-level curriculum standards in multiple disciplines, including STEM, language arts, literacy and social studies. The curriculum contains step-by-step lesson plans for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade with supporting teaching materials, including learning activities, videos, handouts, virtual field trips and completion certificates.

Four of Republic Services’ Recycling Simplified STEM-focused lessons are now available to afterschool and at-home educators on Mizzen.

Designed to serve a variety of age groups, from Pre-K through high school, the recycling lessons from Republic Services available on Mizzen include:

  • Pre-K - Grade 2: It’s never too early to talk to kids about recycling. In fact, introducing recycling at a young age in the home and classroom can help foster a strong foundation for lifelong recycling habits. This lesson is a great introduction to recycling, why it is important and what happens to recycled items.  
  • Grades 3-5: This lesson helps students make connections between recycling and preserving our planet. During the lesson, students review materials with their teacher, participate in a virtual field trip of a recycling center, and then complete an activity to tie everything together.
  • Grades 6-8: Ensuring students are engaged and interested in recycling is key. To help capture their attention, this lesson offers a dynamic virtual tour of a recycling center and explanations of how recycling contributes to the preservation of natural resources and the environment around us. In addition to the virtual tour, students will learn about the different types of recyclable materials, how materials are handled and the hazards of improper recycling.
  • Grades 9-12: Going beyond the basics of recycling is one way to not only help students strengthen their understanding of the connection between recycling, landfills and the environment but also spark a lifelong interest in the industry and sustainability. High school students will gain a greater understanding of the connections among science, engineering and technology in developing ways to reduce the impact of human activities on the environment by watching videos, discussing ideas about persuading people to recycle effectively, and developing a recycling campaign concept.

The Republic Services recycling lessons — which were written and vetted by teachers — on Mizzen will increase student access to quality recycling education and support sustainability-focused education curricula that help more people learn how to protect the environment.

To learn more about Republic Services and its Recycling Simplified Education Program, visit and

The Mizzen by Mott app is free through support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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