Create a School Recycling Public Relations Campaign That Boosts Community Awareness

Get the word out (and energy up) for a recycling plan that works.

Author: Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Want to get your school community on board with recycling? A smart recycling public relations campaign takes just a few passionate voices and a game plan. You got this! Kickstart your campaign with some of these “best of” goal-achieving ideas that make an impact.


Build an “all in” mentality with recycling campaign leadership


young people's arms and hands making a stack together


Strong relationships with stakeholders like administrators and custodians are essential for a recycling campaign longevity. Teamwork is everything in sustainability.


That said, there can be a fear of the unknown. How will it work? How much time do we need and what’s the cost? You need buy-in and confidence. Get the conversation started with this guide! Plus, the Recycle Rally Resource library has everything to promote the value of recycling in schools and, most importantly, how to do it successfully.


Encourage recycling commitment with a pledge


Still of a pledge to commit to recycling


School communities find solidarity in teamwork. In turn, teamwork takes commitment. Help the community put its best foot forward with free printable recycling pledge forms. Or encourage them to write their own. As a result, they’ll share their heartfelt recycling promises with others.


Spread the recycling word loud and proud (over morning announcements)


Gooooood Morning, future recyclers! If you need a call-to-action like the formation of a Green Team, or a specific recycling event promoted, the school PA system is your public relations BFF.  Ask if you can get on the announcement schedule because that 15-30 seconds of “air time” matters.


Student-run radio station or podcasts? Budding ralliers can practice their communication chops on air, too. Consistency counts, so establish some standing gigs.


Inspire with visuals like smart PSA videos


Creative PSA videos for a recycling public relations campaign hit all the right notes. Stay on message, make it fun, and everyone comes together for one mission. Simple acts make a big impact.


Make the most of staff and student talents. Do you have poets or comedians? Lean in! If you, or they, love to dance, bring it. Got some singers in your midst? They won’t stop singing your recycling jingles!


Use social media to spread the word on school sustainability


two teen girls taking selfie while recycling plastic bottles


A good place to share those awesome PSAs? Your school’s social channels, of course. Find out who runs your school community’s Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and other social feeds to help you craft effective recycling messaging. Moreover, frequent posting about awareness and your Green Team’s events will spark engagement.


So you’re selfie-ready, right? Once you’ve established some footing, ask to start your Green Team’s own channels. Have fun with it (TikTok, anyone?)!


Up your offline game with recycling posters that pop


Five recycling posters about taking care of our planet


A recycling poster campaign is a beautiful way to bring awareness and offer sustainable how-tos. You can reach your green goals and artfully show where people can recycle. 


Also, inspire the next green leaders in your community! These free poster downloads can get you started! Further, share your joy with this Proud to Be Part of Recycle Rally poster.


Put fun back in functional for recycling bins and centers


Basic blue buckets are fine, but a major player in recycling public relations campaign dominance is eye-catching materials and displays. Level up your bin game with some creative license! Go beyond basic and make your receptacle stand out. Try this hungry recycle monster.


Think outside the (recycling) box too. You want potential participants to see recycling everywhere! Leverage recyclables to…recycle! Make recycling bins from newspapers or aluminum cans. Give it a lift with a plastic bottle recycling bin frame, too.


Likewise, you’ll easily increase participation with lively and colorful recycling centers (these are 10 we really love).


Rally the school community with a kickoff assembly


Nothing says “let’s do this!” like the tried-and-true pep rally. Following your school’s safe social distancing and Covid protocols, an assembly can really drum up support. Take it outdoors for earthy inspiration and safety!


For example, we love how this P.E. teacher and students came up with recycling trick shots with plastic bottles. Or how these students motivated others with a recycling obstacle course on the football field. Think your students have what it takes? Sounds like a good recycling campaign contest…


Add a little friendly competition


A graphic of an upcycled plastic trophy for recyling


Everybody loves swag! Raise the stakes with some DIY prizes like upcycled trophies and ultimate bragging rights. Games and motivation for classrooms inspire students and teachers to keep up the recycling and upcycling momentum. Door decorating contest, anyone?


Classroom recycling competitions are endless fun. Students will be talking about this Bottle Cap Guessing game and DIY Plastic Bottle Mummy Bowling game for a while. In short, when your youngest students get psyched about recycling, your campaign is on fire.


In conclusion, you’re now armed with big ideas and sparks of joy to bring a recycling public relations campaign to life. But there’s more! Check out all of our recycling resources for classrooms, families, and energized school communities.

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Recycle Rally

Recycle Rally is a free K-12 program that provides rewards and tools to help enhance recycling at your school!

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Additional Resources

Our comprehensive library of resources was designed to inspire the next generation of green leaders.

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