LAND & PROPERTYGarbage & RecyclingRecycling Services3Rs for Schools   

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle at School

In Minnesota, nearly 24% of material generated by schools is food waste while 28% is material that can be recycled. There are many opportunities for schools to participate in waste reduction, recycling, and composting to keep natural resources like aluminum, paper, and even plastic in use, rather than sitting in a landfill. Not only that, but reducing, reusing and recycling means your school is saving money by purchasing less and cutting costs on trash pick ups.


Mesabi East Schools Receive Recycling Bins

MErecyclilng bins

Mesabi East Schools received a boost to their recycling program when Rachel Doherty took advantage of a networking opportunity to get bins that a metro county no longer needed. Dakota County was clearing out their recycling container inventory and Mesabi East Schools was able to obtain over $5,000 worth of needed supplies at no cost to boost in-school recycling. In addition, Ms Doherty received a $2500.00 grant from Wal-Mart to purchase more recycling bins for Mesabi East!  

Cherry and North Woods Recycle Nearly 17 Tons During 2014-2015 School Year

Read how Cherry and North Woods Schools recycled over 33,800 pounds of material this year and how other schools have been working to become better stewards of the environment through recycling!

Chemical Safety Day Program 2015

The University of Minnesota is offering a Chemical Safety Program to assist schools and colleges in disposing of unwanted chemicals and hazardous waste from science, art, industrial technology, and maintenance departments. Collection dates for the Iron Range area will take place August 11-13, 2015. To sign up or for more information, visit

Locker Clean Out

Low Waste Locker Clean Out at Mt. Iron-Buhl

Mt. Iron-Buhl High School has put both recycling and reuse into action by coordinating a low-waste locker clean out, an effort to keep recyclable and re-usable materials out of the trash as lockers are emptied at the end of the year. During the 2014-2015 school year, MIB  students collected over 200 pounds of paper for recycling and 78 pounds of folders, binders, pencils and other supplies to be re-used next school year. Very little trash was created, demonstrating that our lockers are filled with items that don’t need to go to waste.

Recycling Reuse Waste Reduction Teacher Resources

Often times, reuse activities offer fun opportunities for students to share reusable items with each other and the community, all while preventing waste from going to the landfill. Consider the following activities:

  • Hold a swap day in which students bring in books, toys, or clothes to “trade” with other students.
  • Collect scrap paper, fabric wood and other items to use for art or science projects.
  • Hold a contest to see who can be the most creative using these items!
  • Have a bin in your school where students and staff can drop off unused school supplies to be recycled or reused by others.
  • At the end of the school year, organize a “Locker Cleanout” for students to donate reusable school supplies that they would otherwise throw away
  • Ask local businesses to donate materials they would otherwise discard or provide them with a list of needed items.
  • If your school has goods that are no longer needed,  give them to those who can use them using Minnesota Materials Exchange (

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 TitleModified DateSize 
Bottles/cans/cartons recycling sign11/24/2014316.04 KBDownload
Cardboard recycling sign11/24/20141.24 MBDownload
Common school recyclables11/24/2014419.85 KBDownload
Paper recycling sign11/24/20141.27 MBDownload
Trash sign11/24/20141.33 MBDownload

To arrange classroom presentations about recycling and waste topics or to receive assistance with improving your school's recycling program please contact:

Michael Krick

St. Louis County Environmental Services

307 First St. S., Ste. 115
Virginia, Minnesota  55792