The students will identify recycling as an alternative to disposal
of paper. A method for determining the cost-effectiveness of a
recycling program will be described.
or other scale, calculator, classroom wastebasket, paper grocery
bags or cardboard boxes, telephone directory, telephone.
1. Ask the class to separate paper items from
other classroom disposables for one week, segregating them into
a suitable collection container. Label the collection container
2. Discuss with the class ways in which the
collected paper might be re-used in the classroom. Are there other
uses for the paper in the school?
3. Weigh the paper after one week's collection.
Project the weight of paper that might be collected in a month's
time, a semester, the school year. Multiply the projected weights
by the number of other classrooms in the school. Convert the figures
to tons for results greater than 2,000 lbs. Record the projections.
4. Consult the yellow pages of the telephone
directory for the location of a scrap paper market (see "scrap
dealers" or "scrap metals"). Contact the scrap
paper markets to determine preparation requirements and prices
paid for various grades of paper, including mixed ledger (office
quality) paper, newsprint, computer paper, corrugated cardboard,
mixed wastepaper, and magazines. Determine whether there is a
market for the paper collected in the classroom. Inquire whether
the scrap paper dealer will provide transportation of the recycled
5. What is the current value of the paper
collected in the classroom? Would separating the paper into two
or more market grades improve its value? If transportation is
not provided by the scrap paper dealer, what will it cost to transport
the paper to market?
6. Determine whether the recycling effort
could be cost-effective on a classroom basis. Compare potential
revenues from the sale of the recycled paper to the costs to collect
and transport the paper to market. Would it be be cost- effective
if all the paper discarded in the school could be recycled?
7. Consider the disposal cost avoided if the
paper is recycled rather than disposed. Contact the disposal service
that collects the school's waste to determine the cost per ton
of collection and disposal. Could the "avoided disposal cost"
savings improve the cost-effectiveness of the paper recycling
effort? (Each ton recycled is one ton less to be disposed.) Could
the school save money by recycling paper?
8. Discuss the findings with the class and
the school principal. Publicize the results of the study in the
9. The Pennsylvania Resources Council can
provide a comprehensive informational pamphlet to schools interested
in developing a recycling program. Write or call for: