Liz Swafford shares the details of the City of Dalton’s Curbside Recycling Program for an educational video.

When schools participate in Target Recycling at School they qualify for free environmental education for all ages through the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.  Local groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and Homeschool Groups are also able to enjoy the free service.  Workshops are also available for adults when they're hosted by a civic group, garden club, or other business organization. 

Topics range from recycling, waste management, water pollution and conservation, animal habitats, and even trees.  Tours, workshops, and class visits are facilitated by DWSWA staff members.  (Schedule tours, school visits, and adult workshops online with the Education Program Request Form.)  Participants typically also receive a pen, pencil, coloring book or other recycled promotional item to remember the visit.

The main contact person for the program is the Recycling and Education Program Coordinator, Liz Swafford.  She is a non-formal educator who is a Certified Environmental Educator through the Advance Training for Environmental Education in Georgia organized by the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia.  Programs provided include lessons from award winning environmental education curriculum including Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), Project WILD (Wildlife Learning In Design), and Project Learning Tree (PLT).  Liz is also certified in Managing Recycling Systems through the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), and is an active member of the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia, Georgia Recycling Coalition, Keep Georgia Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful, SWANA, Young Professionals of Northwest Georgia, Dalton Little Theater, and a graduate of the Leadership Dalton-Whitfield Class of 2011.

Thank you for letting us see your recycle stuff like plastic. I loved it!
— Thank You Note from Michael, 3rd Grader
Students guess how many plastic bottles are in a bale during a tour. 

Students guess how many plastic bottles are in a bale during a tour. 

Students on a tour make a tree grow out of newspaper during an activity in the education room.

Students on a tour make a tree grow out of newspaper during an activity in the education room.

Facility Tours:

Follow the garbage truck to the landfill and find out what happens to all the stuff that gets thrown away in Whitfield County.  Then, follow the recycling truck to the recycling center to learn why recycling makes a difference for our community and state.  The tour is appropriate for 1st grade and up, and can be adapted for children and adults. 

Schedule your tour online with our Education Program Request Form.

• Recycling Ben’s New Friends Tour:  1 Hour

Tour at the DWSWA facility highlighting the landfill and recycling center.  An introduction to waste management in our community.

  • Limit of 60 visitors, 2 groups of 30, to finish in 1 hour.
  • Can do 2 tours on the same day to accommodate up to 120 visitors.
Thank you for the great tour this morning. I really appreciate you taking time out to speak with my students. The students were really impressed with all the things you guys have going on at your facility.
— John Lugthart, Dalton State College

• Recycling Ben’s Buddies Tour:  1.5-Hours

Tour Take the New Friends Tour listed above to the next level by adding an educational session like: 

  • The Edible Aquifer – ground water, pollution sources, water conservation
  • We All Need Trees – paper recycling, natural resources (from PLT)
  • Garbage Pizza – composition of our waste stream and how to improve it
  • Limit of 90 visitors, 3 groups of 30, to finish in 1.5 hours. 
  • Can do 2 tours on the same day to accommodate up to 180 visitors.
Thank you so much for allowing us to come to the Landfill for a tour. We enjoyed it so much and really appreciate all the people that helped out while we were there. My students had lots of fun and learned how to care for our Earth by recycling.
— Deborah Yarbrough, Eastside Elementary

Recycling Ben’s Sidekick Training: 4-Hours  

Students will train to become Recycling Ben’s Sidekicks while making Garbage Pizza, a model of a Landfill, taking a tour of the landfill and recycling center, participating in a relay race, meeting mascot Recycling Ben, and completing a Reuse It Challenge. 

  • Recommended for 3rd graders.
  • Limit of 30 visitors (1 group or classroom at a time).
  • Limited to 1 group per day.
  • Suggested hours are 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
  • Includes time to eat lunch.
  • Visitors should bring their own lunch from school / home. 
  • Learning Standards and Agenda available upon request.

During the 2012 – 2013 school year we introduced Recycling Ben’s Sidekick Training.  This program takes place at the Recycling Center’s education and training room.  It's designed for third graders, and cannot be done off-site. 

We’ll Visit Your School: 

Sometimes it’s more convenient for our team to go to your school and present to an assembly or a particular classroom.  Here’s a selection of activities we can take to you.  Most are adaptable to all grade levels and group sizes.  Correlations to learning standards are available upon request.  

Schedule a visit to your school using our Education Program Request Form.

Just wanted to say thank you for taking time out to come and visit our center. The children really enjoyed Recycling Ben’s visit. You showed us some great things that are made from recycling, and reminded us of how important it is to recycle.
— Whitfield Dalton Day Care Staff
For more information about environmental education, conferences, and resources available right here in the state of Georgia visit the Environmental Education alliance of Georgia's website: http://www.eealliance.org

For more information about environmental education, conferences, and resources available right here in the state of Georgia visit the Environmental Education alliance of Georgia's website: http://www.eealliance.org

• We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers: Follow Charlie and Lola as they learn about recycling by participating in a competition.  Watch the DVD of the episode or read the book. Find out what you can recycle at school and how paper products are recycled. 

A variety of educational activities are available to enhance what you're doing in school from these award winning environmental education curriculums. . 

A variety of educational activities are available to enhance what you're doing in school from these award winning environmental education curriculums. . 

• Hey, That's Not Trash:  Perfect introductory class about recycling for Pre-K and Kinder.  Students enjoy a reading of the children's book, "Hey, That's Not Trash", play a sorting game to identify items that can go in a recycling bin, and make a recycled music shaker from their own water bottle.

• We All Need Trees:  Can you name 10 things that are made from trees?  Was one of them paper?  Learn how paper is made from trees, and how recycling paper conserves natural resources.  Find out what you can recycle at school and what your paper is recycled into.

• Guests for Career Day: DWSWA staff is available to visit your school for Career Day activities.  We’re prepared to talk about working at a recycling center or in the waste management industry in general.  

• Garbage Pizza: Make a huge garbage pizza to display in your classroom to show the composition of our waste stream.  Learn about reducing, recycling, and reusing your waste.  Find ways to improve recycling at your school.

• How Many Bears Can Live in this Forest?:  Learn about the components of a habitat, carrying capacity, human impact on the environment, and a healthy bear diet as we become black bears.  For younger students we’ll also read the book ‘Bear Snores On’.

• Every Drop Counts: How much water on the planet is potable?  And what types of pollutants affect the water supply?  Learn about water conservation through a demonstration on Enviroscape’s model of the Watershed.

Students explore sources of water pollution using an Enviroscape watershed model during a class visit.

Students explore sources of water pollution using an Enviroscape watershed model during a class visit.

Students from Dalton State College take a tour of the landfill and recycling center managed by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.

Students from Dalton State College take a tour of the landfill and recycling center managed by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.

Can’t find an activity that fits what you’re studying? More lesson are available from Project WET, Project WILD, Growing up WILD, Project Learning Tree, and Waste in Place.  Call us at 706-278-5001 to discuss or e-mail Liz Swafford: lswafford@dwswa.org.

Workshops for Adults

Civic groups, clubs, and business organizations can also participate in educational environmentally friendly workshops.  Our staff is available to visit your group during your regular meeting times to give informative presentations or give hands on workshops on several topics.  Tours of the recycling center and landfill are also open to adults.  Here are some of the topics available: 

  •  What to Recycle in Whitfield County Convenience Centers
  •  What to Recycle with the City of Dalton Curbside Recycling Program
  •  Monarch Butterflies and Butterfly Gardens
  •  Green Cleaning Recipes, How-To Session
  •  Reuse It! How-To Upcycle old T-shirts
  •  Introduction to Composting at Home
  •  Greening the Workplace, Tips and How-To
  •  Nature Deficit Disorder and Connecting Children to Nature
  •  Overview of DWSWA Services and Programs

Schedule your workshop or tour online using the Education Program Request Form.  Call 706-278-5001 or email: lswafford@dwswa.org if you have any questions.