Classroom Programs

Classroom Programs

The District offers numerous free or partially-subsidized classroom programs focused on reducing waste. For high school programs or additional programs, inquiries may be directed to Angela Rivera at (513) 946-7746. 

Programs by the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District

District programs are free and last approximately 45 minutes. A minimum of 12 is required.

Recycling is Doggone Easy: Pre-K -K
Students will be able to read a book then participate in a recycling activity, sing a song, and do a cheer in this introduction to recycling. 

Composting 101: 
Pre K- 8 
In Hamilton County, more than 22% of what goes into our landfills could be composted. Learn the fundamentals of backyard composting and indoor vermicomposting (worm bins). Composting is an easy and effective way to keep organics out of the landfill.

Conservation of Resources: 
Pre K - 8
In Hamilton County, nearly 41% of what we throw in the trash could be recycled. Students will learn the whats, whys and hows of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Food is a Valuable Resource: 
Pre K - 8
Anyone who has walked through a cafeteria knows firsthand how much good food is being thrown out, but did you know 40% of the food in the U.S. never gets eaten even though one in six in Hamilton County is food insecure? This lesson will bring awareness to your students of the real value of food, introduce food as a system, offer tips on wasting less while helping others who are hungry.

Paper Factory:
Grades 1 - 8
Nearly 32% of the material going into our landfills is paper, making it the largest component of the waste stream. All but 2% of paper is either recyclable or compostable. This program describes the production of paper from its virgin state and recycled state, and allows students to participate in making recycled paper. Grades 1 - 8.

Changing States of Matter: Grades 3 - 8
In this lesson, students will follow crude oil from its virgin state to gas, and finally to a solid plastic. Next, they will "upcycle" a non-recyclable plastic container into a creation similar to a Shrinky-Dink®.

School Waste Audit Training: Grades 5-12
In this lesson, I will work with your students and you to prepare for a waste audit of your classroom, cafeteria, or other location at school. We will review the importance of proper waste management and how to reduce waste at your school.


Programs by Keep Cincinnati Beautiful

Cost: Free

Contact: Email or call Kara Luggen at513-352-4386

Compost Stew: K–8

We will read the book “Compost Stew” and follow along by creating our own batch of “compost.” Students will learn how the earth recycles and why it’s important for us to do things, like compost, to reduce the amount of waste we create. (30 minutes)  

Paper Recycling: Grades K–8
Students learn where paper comes from, its history, its future and why recycling paper is beneficial to the environment. Then they will operate their own paper recycling factory and produce recycled paper right in your classroom. (45 minutes) 

Eco-Art: Grades 2–8
After a brief review and discussion of the three R’s, children will tap into their creative side to explore the reuse leg of the reduce-reuse-recycle triangle. We’ll put into practice the concept of reuse through craft making from an item usually destined for the landfill, which students get to take home! We provide the craft materials but request each class supply its own glue, scissors, and crayons or markers. 

Recycle This!: Grades 2–12
This program involves a discussion about natural resources from which different kinds of packaging are made, our ability to  recycle packaging as well as its biodegradability (or lack thereof). We’ll demonstrate how recycling our packaging saves resources, landfill space, and energy. The program concludes with a game in which students practice sorting their recyclables for curbside collection. (45 minutes) 

The Mystery of Landfills: Grades 3-12
What happens to our trash after it is picked up at the curbside? What is the difference between a dump and a sanitary landfill? How are landfills designed to minimize the effects on solid waste disposal on our environment? Using a model of a landfill to visually depict the components of its design we will discuss the answers to these and other questions. (45 minutes)

Programs by Crystal Clear Sciences

Cost: $55 for schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $10 for low-income schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $125 for first program and $110 for additional programs for schools not registered with the District's Recycling Assistance Program (must be within 90 minutes of Cincinnati, Ohio). All programs are 45 minutes.

Contact: E-mail crystalclearscience@icloud.com or call 513-553-2252

R’s for Life!: K–8
Teach your students about reducing, reusing, and recycling (3 R’s) while reinforcing academic content standards! R’s For Life is a fun, fast-paced program that will leave kids with a new understanding of the impact they have on our local environment and their futures. This program empowers and inspires kids to be a part of the solution and features many great reuse projects and experiments! (This program is also available as an assembly.)  

Fantastic Plastic: K–12 
This hands-on program teaches kids the rules of recycling plastic. It also covers physical properties of matter and includes great reuse activity ideas. 

Paper Capers: Grades K–12
Students will learn about the importance of the entire recycling loop: buy things that can be recycled, recycle them, and purchase goods made from recycled products. They will also participate in a paper recycling demonstration . 

Recycling Rules: Grades K–12
This hands-on program teaches students the science of solids, liquids and gases while teaching how recyclables are sorted at the facility. Students learn properties of objects as they use physical properties to separate a mixture that contains the resources used to make glass, plastic, paper and aluminum. 

Rotten Science: Grades K–12
This program delves deeper into the science of the carbon cycle and composting. Students will learn that one of the largest parts of the waste stream can recycle itself! 

Taking Charge of Recycling Grades 6 - 12
This program is designed for middle and high school students and adults who want to bring recycling to their schools, homes, churches and other community areas. Attendees will learn how to calculate benefits/costs, the infrastructure of recycling programs, and the way that recycling helps us do our civic duty. Many math, science and social studies standards are covered in this program. 

Programs by Mother Nature

Cost$46 for schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $10 for low-income schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $92 for schools not registered with the District's Recycling Assistance Program (must be within 60 miles of Loveland, Ohio). Programs are 45 minutes.

Contact: E-mail jgonzales@mothersnature2.com or call 513-697-8826

Composting: Let it Rot: Pre K - 4
Students will learn about what makes great compost, and then get to role-play creating their own compost pile. Students must deduce what processes need to occur in order for them to remain a viable "microhabitat." Then, working in small groups, students "dissect" compost, sorting, classifying, and charting what they find. A rousing chorus of "Dirt Made My Lunch" helps reinforce that composting is important for everyone.  

Recycling: Where Does Our Garbage Go?  Pre K - 4
Students will watch a brief puppet show about recycling, make recycled paper, sing songs about recycling, and much more!