Waste and Recycling 


Reduce waste and increase recycling

Did you know?

  • Every Chicago Public School can recycle paper, cardboard, newspaper, steel cans, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and now milk cartons. Learn more by reading the CPS Recycling Guide.
  • Schools track how much they recycle online through the Weekly Recycling Report.
  • Students can earn Service Learning hours in Recycling Clubs
  • Some schools compost food waste—outdoors or in worm bins—to reduce waste and teach students about decomposition.
  • Teachers can find and share Free Things donated to CPS
  • If CPS stacked up all the copy paper it uses each year, it would reach the top of the Sears-Willis Tower—eight times. Paper Waste Busters recognizes schools that save paper and buy paper with the most recycled content.

What can I do?

  • Sign up for and run a Green Locker Clean Out at the end of the year. Reuse school supplies for next year, share with schools in need, and recycle papers with this handy guide
  • Help your school earn Recycling Rewards and save natural resources by implementing Recycling Best Practices.
    • Containers – Keep a recycling bin and smaller garbage bin wherever recyclable waste is generated.
    • Collection – Once recyclables are separated by staff and students, make sure they are carted out the correct dumpsters.
    • Communication – Use posters, newsletters, assemblies, and P.A. announcements to share your school's commitment to recycling.
  • Incorporate recycling education into your current curriculum
  • Start food scrap composting with the Composting in CPS Guide, following City of Chicago regulations.
  • Be a Paper Waste Buster: save paper and switch to 30% or more recycled content paper.

What are other Chicago Public Schools doing?


Click the links below to learn environmental strategies about:

Page Last Modified on Monday, May 23, 2016

Contact information
CPS Environmental Affairs
125 South Clark Street 17th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: (773) 553-3161
Email: gogreen@cps.k12.il.us Opens in a new window icon.