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The Recycling Olympics challenges kids aged 5-14 to get active, work together, and learn proper recycling behavior in New York. The games are easy enough for kids to play, challenging enough for teens to play, and more fun than a lecture or video! In the Recycling Olympics teams balance recyclable milk cartons on strings, shoot hoops with aluminum cans, hunt recyclables while blindfolded, sprint materials to the proper bin, or learn resource conservation through waste reduction in a game of tag.
A space of about 20ft by 20ft is needed to play, outdoors or indoors, and anywhere from 3 to 50 kids can play at a time, depending on the game.
Photos from the Recycling Olympics can been seen here, and video shot of the Recycling Olympics at the South Bronx Get Green Earth Day festival can be viewed here.
Please let us know if you’d like more information.
The Recycling Game
Play the Recycling Game with Friends
Recycling is more interesting than you may think, and it's fun!
Recycling accomplishes three things. It saves natural resources. It saves energy. It keeps materials out of landfills and incinerators. Everyone can learn to recycle. It is required by law.
For residents, participation in the New York City Recycling Program requires separating recyclables into two bins or clear bags and placing them on the curb. Children recognize the emphasis that is placed on recycling in the New York City, and they are interested. For children, recycling involves recognizing which materials go into each bin. It’s the Recycling Game!
Participants sit in the circle, as materials are passed from hand to hand until everything is holding something. When everyone is holding an item, the leader asks everyone who is holding something made of recyclable paper to hold it above their heads. He then walks around the circle and asks them to place recyclable paper and cardboard into a recycling bag, accepting only those materials which are recyclable as paper. The leader describes how each material is recycled, and what it might become. After doing the same thing for metal, glass, plastic, and beverage cartons, he invites everyone who is still holding something that their trash will go into a black bag and picked up by a trash truck which will take it to the transfer station. It will then be put on a train and placed in a landfill or incinerated in another state.
I challenge your team to a Recycling Relay Race
The Recycling Relay works like any relay race except it's more fun because it is meaningful and takes a little thought. Team members are encouraged to help one another determine what gets recycled in which bin.
Sit the players in a circle and handout a selection of trash and recyclables. Pass them around the circle so that each player is holding one thing. Then ask players to put all of the recyclable paper into the center of the circle, then the beverage cartons, recyclable plastic, and metal. Now have the players who still have non-recyclable trash to hold up what they have so that everyone can see. Explain that all of this would have to go to the landfill.
Introduce the green pail for paper and cardboard, the blue pail for metal, (glass), plastic, and beverage cartons, and the black bag for regular waste.
Divide the players into two teams. Set the recycling receptacles 20 or 30 feet away. Stand by the pails to assist the players with getting the items into the correct bins. On "go" the students pick something from of the pile, run, deposit the object in the correct receptacle, and run back and tag the next person, who picks up another object and runs down the field. The game concludes when the pile of recyclables and waste is gone.
At the conclusion the remind the players that, "When we recycle, everybody wins!"
In addition to giving players the opportunity to run and use their large muscles, the game teaches and reinforces knowledge of recycling and builds teamwork. It requires students to think about where each object goes, and it develops a sense of enthusiasm and teamwork for recycling.