Teach Students About Recycling Contamination With This Video

This is so important.

Have you ever wondered what happens if you toss an item into the recycling bin that shouldn’t be there? Recycling contamination is a big hurdle in making recycling work. Teach students more with the video below.


What is recycling contamination?


Illustration of child standing in front of a recycling bin. Text reads The Right Bin Matters! (Recycling Contamination)


1 in 4 items that wind up in recycling bins shouldn’t be there. Recycling contamination happens when we:

  • Don’t empty containers or jars.
  • Toss non-recyclables into the recycling bin.

Recycling contamination costs the U.S. $300 million each year! It makes recycling really hard. It means our recyclables may have to go to the landfill, or that the machines we use to help us recycle break. It’s also a misuse of our time, and the environment suffers.


So when you’re done with something, make sure you put it in the right place. The right bin matters!


Additional Resources


Use these resources in conjunction with the recycling contamination video to help kids learn what they can and can’t recycle.


Videos: Can I Recycle That?


These videos help students learn which items they can and can’t recycle. Watch them to understand how you can recycle properly and avoid contaminating the system.


Lesson Plans and Games


Use these plans and games with your students to explore why it’s so important to avoid contaminating the recycling system. They’ll help kids learn the right way to recycle every day.


Looking for more ideas and information? Be sure to check out our Recycling Resources library. It’s full of activities and articles for parents, teachers, and students of all ages. You can sort by grade, subject level, and more to find exactly what you’re looking for!

The Right Bin Matters - Recycling Contamination

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Additional Resources

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