Four Lesson Module: School Waste Eco-Audit

Students investigate school waste and conduct an eco-audit for their school.

Author: Recycle Rally

Recycle Rally

Recycle Rally has partnered with EcoRise to bring you comprehensive, hands-on lessons focused on waste and recycling for grades K-12. In this four lesson module, students will conduct a waste audit for their school. Access the free lesson plans by clicking on the link below!




This set of four lessons written for grades 11-12 takes students on an engaging journey of a waste audit. They will collect and analyze data, reflect on its importance, and consider ideas for improving waste management on campus. Following this, they will communicate their recommendations to administrators, parents, students, and others. Finally, they will implement action plans to enact real change.


All lessons are mapped to CCSS, NGSS, EFS, and TEKS standards.



1. School Waste Eco-Audit: Exploring

Estimated time needed: Three 50–55-minute class periods


This lesson begins with an introduction to green schools and a discussion about the value of a campus waste eco-audit. Then students investigate how waste is generated at the school. They work in groups to survey how much traditional waste, recyclables, compost, and e-waste is generated.



2. School Waste Eco-Audit: Analyzing

Estimated time needed: Two 55-minute class periods


In this lesson, students use the data they gathered in Lesson 1 to note trends in the way waste is produced on campus. They do research and interview campus personnel to find answers to questions and address gaps in their data. Then they analyze the data they’ve gathered, reflect on its importance, and begin considering ideas for improving waste management on campus.



3. School Waste Eco-Audit: Wrapping Up

Estimated time needed: Three 55-minute class periods


In this lesson, students synthesize their data and ideas from Lesson 2. They share their results with the class and evaluate the effectiveness of the eco-audit. Students then strategize as a class and in small groups to plan how to recommend progressive changes to more effectively manage waste resources on campus.



4. Waste Data Is Beautiful!

Estimated time needed: Three 55-minute class periods


In this lesson, students learn how to communicate their campus waste management recommendations to administrators, the student body, and beyond. They learn strategies for presenting data in interesting, relevant, and visually appealing ways, such as through infographics. Then students take the information they collected and analyzed in Lessons 1–3 and create a plan for communicating their recommendations to campus administrators, parents, students, and others. Finally, students execute their plans by writing letters to administrators, creating a showcase presentation of their findings, writing and performing in public service announcements, and implementing concrete student action plans.



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