Tell me about your rubbish

A couple of days ago, Robin went to the local recycling plant* with her school. We have recycled fairly consistently for the past few years but have stepped our game up a couple of notches lately. I thought that reading books and watching cartoons about the importance of recycling was enough education on our part, but it seems that visiting the place where all that waste ends up is the best way to really help children understand why we do what we do.

The second she walked through the front door after school, she shouted “I will never use the black garbage bag again!”(here in Malta, tin, paper and plastic are collected in a grey back, organic waste goes into a white or transparent bag and the remaining domestic waste goes into black bags). I wish I could say the same but it won’t be possible as long as Ivy uses nappies!

My biggest issue right now is how to help the children decide what goes where. Robin got a clearer idea thanks to this outing and Maia is old enough to (mostly) remember what goes where, but I still find myself picking food out of the black bag or paper from the white one.

Have you got any tips on how to make it easier? Have you come up with a system which helps younger children figure out which bin to use? I’d love to know how other families deal with their rubbish (and that is a sentence I never thought I’d say! Ha!).

Robin’s classmates at the recycling plant. (photo used with the permission of The Happy Headmaster).

* It isn’t exactly a recycling plant but it is where all the recyclable waste from this island (Gozo) and the littlest island of the archipelago (Comino) is sorted and prepared for treatment.


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