Why Learn About Litter and Recycling?
Let’s work towards a CLEANER and HEALTHY Future (for you and your environment!) The impact of improper waste disposal not only impacts the health of the environment, it can also be detrimental to your health, as well. Do you ever wonder:
- What happens to the items I recycle?
- Is recycling really worth the effort?
- Why should I attempt to reduce the amount of garbage I create?
- What are the waste reduction and recycling options available in the county?
- Really, how harmful is a piece of litter?
By learning the facts, living a more environmentally responsible lifestyle is no longer a nuisance. With understanding, taking the time to disposal of waste correctly becomes part of everyday routine instead of an unnecessary chore.
Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling conducts a number of FREE environmental education presentations to increase awareness of environmental stewardship. Audiences include but are not limited to:
- Adult Groups (Garden Clubs, Fraternal Organizations, employee groups, etc.)
- Youth Groups (Scouts, 4-H, etc.)
- School Groups (Including Classrooms from Preschool through High School)
- General Public (table displays at fairs, festivals and other community events)
Westmoreland Cleanways’ educational programs are constantly being updated to ensure timeliness and relevance to the environmental challenges we face. To learn more about our educational programs or to schedule a presentation, call 724-879-4020 or email our Program Director.
Suggested Programs for Adults Include
- Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling’s role in the County
- Recycling options within the County
- The Dos and Don’ts of Curbside Recycling
- Backyard Composting
The following is a list of presentations designed with youth in mind. As the programs use hands-on learning to keep the students engaged and active learners, they are geared towards small groups and classrooms programs. Not all programs are appropriate for all ages, but most of them can be adapted to a variety of ages and learning environments. To learn more about our educational programs or to schedule a presentation, call 724-879-4020 or email our Program Director.
Youth Presentation List
Adventures of a Plastic Bottle
Focusing on energy and natural resource conservation; students will play a Westmoreland Cleanways created board game that follows the stages of a plastic bottle’s life cycle, starting as oil and ending as a recycled product (hopefully).
Backyard Composting, an Introduction
Learn the basics of composting and discover the connection between kitchen scraps/yard waste and developing healthier soil for plants.
Working in groups, students will construct a three dimensional pie chard representing the Municipal Solid Waste discarded in the United States per year (garbage pizza). Using the pizza as a visual, students will analyze the chart to brainstorm waste reduction solutions.
Interactive displays developed by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful can be used as a stand-alone display or can be the focus of a presentation.
- Litter Board: Create litter awareness by matching a common litter item with its correct decomposition time.
- Recycle Board: Create recycling awareness by matching a common recyclable item with the new product it can be recycled into.
I Want to Be Recycled
Learn what materials can be recycled curbside and the new materials that can be created by recycling. Based on the age and the available space, the presentation will conclude with either a Recycling Relay Race or a game of Recycling Hot Potato. (Will only present in communities with recycling programs)
What happens to your garbage after it is picked up by the garbage truck? What are the environmental impacts of landfills, and what structures are in place to limit that impact? Students will build miniature landfills of their own design and test their soundness.
Open Your Eyes to Litter
Introduces students to the negative environmental impacts of litter as well as simple techniques students can take to prevent litter.
Recycling a ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and a huge amount of landfill space. Examine the importance of paper recycling and the steps involved in the process. The presentation will conclude with each student making a piece of recycled paper. (access to running water is necessary)
Review the importance of reducing and reusing, and brainstorm different ways to reduce the amount of trash a person produces and creative ways to reuse. Conclude the program by making a “reuse” craft from items normally thrown away. (The actual craft depends on the age group and the time of year.)
The Science of Plastic
Biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, PET, HDPE, polystyrene, 1-7, plant-based; plastic terminology can be confusing. We will take a closer look at the science behind some of these terms and discuss how this relates to the recycling industry.
Learn about the benefits of composting and the practice of composting kitchen scraps using redworms. Students will observe a functioning worm bin and have a chance to meet the worms living in it. Interested groups or classrooms can also “worm sit” the bin for up to a month.
The What and Why of Recycling
In small groups, students will play a Westmoreland Cleanways’ version of the board game, Taboo (younger generations won’t get the reference, but it’s fun for them all the same). Players attempt to guess a series of words or phrases based on descriptions given to them by their teammates. The game focuses on different recyclable material with discussions about recycling between each round.
Made to Order
Develop a presentation around a specific topic (e.g., helping a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop earn a specific badge)
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