Schools recycling

What recycling services are on offer for schools?

Recycling at school is good for the environment, enriches the curriculum, helps schools to become more sustainable and can save money.

School Smart Bank recycling service

We offer every school in the borough one free Smart Bank to collect the following items for recycling:

• paper
• cardboard
• drink cartons
• glass bottles and jars
• tins and cans
• plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays.

You can get extra Smart Banks and refuse bins from our competitively-priced commercial recycling and waste service. This is up to 35% cheaper than our refuse service, so the more you recycle the more you save. If your school is a registered charity there is also a 25% charity discount, see Commercial waste.

You can buy reusable orange bags for £1.50 to collect recycling in your classrooms, staff room or offices, and take it to the Smart Bank. Posters outlining what can and can’t be recycled are available free of charge.

Recycling facility class trips

Your local Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) is based in Wandsworth, near the river at Smugglers Way. Here, recyclable materials are separated and prepared to be sent to manufacturers to be turned into new products. To book a class trip visit

The website also contains other useful information and resources to help reduce waste and recycle more at school, including a waste audit form, a waste minimisation action pack, ideas for class activities and information about eco-schools.

TRAID Textile Reuse

Explore and discuss waste, reuse and recycling, climate change, ethical fashion and world poverty with experts from TRAID, the clothing reuse charity. TRAID runs fashion workshops, school assemblies and classroom activities for primary and secondary schools as well as for youth groups, church groups and community centres.

Schools toner cartridge recycling

Recycle Cartridge provide a free toner cartridge recycling service for schools. How the scheme works:

• Recycle Cartridge supplies your school with a free cardboard bin for toner cartridges.
• once it’s full, call to arrange a collection.
• Recycle Cartridge will remove the full bin and give you an empty one.

Call the Cleaner Greener Hotline on 020 8753 1100 or email for more information.

Schools battery recycling

Battery Back runs a free battery recycling service for schools. Here’s how it works:

• Battery Back gives your school five 5-litre counter-top containers for batteries (dimensions – 18.5cm high by 22.5cm diameter)
• they will collect a minimum of 50kg of batteries at a time – the equivalent of five full containers
• once you have enough batteries for a collection, call Battery Back, who will make a collection within seven working days
• they will also give you posters about the scheme when they drop off the containers.
Call the Cleaner Greener Hotline on 020 8753 1100 or email for more information.

Schools composting

Composting is an excellent way to reduce the amount of lunch time food waste that is thrown in the bin and sent to landfill. It also makes for an interesting lesson plan. Schools can order a subsidised compost bin or wormery through our current offer, see link» Garden waste and composting

Join a Terracycle ‘Brigade’ and raise money for your school.

Terracycle is on a mission to eliminate waste. They do this by creating waste collection programmes (each one is called a ‘Brigade’) for previously non-recyclable, or difficult-to-recycle, waste. The collected waste is then converted into new products, ranging from recycled park benches to up-cycled lunch boxes.

Once you have signed up, download a collection guide for helpful suggestions on how to collect waste. When your waste is ready to be sent in, you can download a free shipping label. Your waste earns Terracycle points that you swap for charitable gifts or a payment for your school.

Visit Terracycle for more information.

More information:

call Cleaner Greener Hotline on 020 8753 1100