Mascot Recycling Ben congratulates students at Dawnville Elementary School for winning a recycling award.

Mascot Recycling Ben congratulates students at Dawnville Elementary School for winning a recycling award.

Target Recycling at School takes the Target Recycling program a step further by providing a comprehensive Environmental Education program that encourages schools to be more environmentally friendly and green.  This free program is available to the 36 public and private schools in Whitfield County that participate in Target Recycling.

Benefits for participating schools include:

  • Complimentary tours of DWSWA facilities including the Recycling Center (schedule with the Education Program Request Form.)
  • Class visits about recycling and other environmental topics like water and habitats (schedule with the Education Program Request Form.)
  • Meet and greet with Mascot Recycling Ben for special events and assemblies
  • Workshops for Teachers, Custodial Staff, and Parents
  • Recycling Assessments and Waste Audits to improve recycling rate
  • Monthly Recycling Rate Reports for each school sent via the E-mail Newsletter for teachers and staff (click here to sign-up)
  • Automatic participation and eligibility for prizes in the annual School Recycling Contest
  • Automatic registration in the national school recycling contest called Recycle-Bowl
  • Participation in the America Recycles Day Billboard Contest for middle schoolers
  • Complimentary coloring books, coloring sheets, pencils or other items made from recycled materials

School Recycling Guide 2016-17

Download the PDF guide for the 2016 - 2017 school year. It includes a brief overview of the services provided by Target Recycling at School, a simple list of what can be recycled at school, and the guidelines for this year's school recycling contest. 

America Recycles Day Billboard Design Contest Guide 2016

Download the PDF guide with entry form for the billboard contest.  Only Middle Schoolers are invited to participate. (6th, 7th, and 8th grade.)

Submissions due October 17, 2016!!

What Can Be Recycled at School?


Target Recycling offers three different collection containers for specific recyclable materials: Mixed Paper, Cardboard Only, and Plastic & Aluminum.  Each school has a different combination of containers available. However, all schools are recycling at least Mixed Paper, which includes flattened cardboard boxes, newspaper, copy paper, books, posters, construction paper, homework... if it tears it's ok to recycle.

Download and print the mini posters to show students and staff what is recyclable.  You can also print free labels for your classroom recycling bins.  Both are 8.5 x 11 in. PDFs.

If you have the Plastic & Aluminum container, and use the blue Away From Home bins inside your school, you could also download and print the mini poster from the Special Event Recycling page.

Not sure if your item can be recycled at school?  Call the recycling center at 706-278-5001 for help.

Thanks so much for coming out to Career Day. Discussing recycling and the environment is a great topic for kids to know about.
— Ken Bess, Brookwood Elementary

Download free Target Recycling at School printables (PDFs):

What to Recycle Mini Posters

Recycling Inside Your School

Catch the Cycle is a guide to recycling in Georgia Schools, from waste audits to collection.

Catch the Cycle is a guide to recycling in Georgia Schools, from waste audits to collection.

While Target Recycling at School provides the collection container(s) outside of your school, it's up to your team to decide how to handle collection inside.   Each school does things a little differently depending on their needs.  

Typically each classroom has a recycling bin or box for mixed paper along with a trash bin. Teacher work areas, offices, and break rooms also have recycling bins.  The gym or cafeteria may have a collection bin too.  Some schools have temporary recycling bins outside for sporting events. 

When those bins are full the custodial staff may empty them and take the contents to the recycling container outside.   Some schools allow students on the green team to collect recyclables as part of their ongoing activities.

The downloadable PDF booklet, Catch the Cycle, is a great place to start if you're managing the recycling program for your school.  A limited number of print copies are available.  Call 706-278-5001 or e-mail: to request a copy to be mailed to you at no charge.

A second guide, not pictured, from is also a great resource to read.  Download the School Recycling Guide from their resource page for free.

Dear Landfill, I liked the whole field trip. I really liked going to the bus and going to look around the landfill. It was really fun. Thank you!
— Thank You Note from Paulina, 3rd Grader

Spread the Word

Sometimes it's a challenge to get everyone on board and recycling all the right things.  Besides using the mini posters mentioned above, here are some tips to help you spread the word: 

  • Include recycling reminders in the daily announcements, and school assemblies.
  • Have students decorate their classroom recycling bins, have a contest. 
  • Design your own recycling posters, and labels for bins, featuring your school's mascot. 
  • Print articles about recycling in your school newsletter, paper, or website. 
  • Send letters home explaining the recycling program to parents. 
  • Have an in-school recycling contest where grade levels can compete. 
  • Share recycling successes with the PTA/PTO participants. 
  • Promote recycling during Earth Day, April 22 and America Recycles Day, November 15. 
  • Take a field trip to our recycling center, check out the Environmental Education Program.
  • Invite Recycling Ben to go to your school for an assembly or class visit.  

Let everyone in the school know what can be recycled using Recycling Ben's activity sheets.  Download them for free and make as many copies as you need.

School Recycling News

School Newsletter Archive

Dear Landfill, Thank you for showing me the garbage. The activity with trees was amazing! I didn’t know all that stuff was made out of tress. Thank you!
— Thank You Note from Joy, 3rd Grader

School Recycling Contest Hall of Fame

2013 -2014 Winners

Overall School Year: 

  1. New Hope Middle
  2. Pleasant Grove Elementary
  3. Dug Gap Elementary

2014 - 2015 Winners

Elementary School:

  1. Learning Tree School
  2. Pleasant Grove Elementary
  3. Dug Gap Elementary

2012 -2013 Winners

Overall School Year: 

  1. Learning Tree School
  2. Dug Gap Elementary
  3. New Hope Middle

Middle School:

  1. New Hope Middle
  2. North Whitfield Middle
  3. Westside Middle

High School: 

  1. Southeast High School
  2. Coahulla Creek High School
  3. North West High School

2011 - 2012 Winners

Overall School Year: 

  1. Dug Gap Elementary
  2. New Hope Middle
  3. Pleasant Grove Elementary

2010 - 2011 Winners

Overall School Year: 

  1. Pleasant Grove Elementary
  2. New Hope Middle
  3. Fort Hill Complex Schools

2009 - 2010 Winners

Overall School Year: 

  1. Fort Hill Complex Schools
  2. New Hope Middle
  3. Dawnville Elementary

A short history of recycling at school in Whitfield County

Mascot Recycling Ben gives a student at Cedar Ridge Elementary School a hi-5 during a class visit.

Mascot Recycling Ben gives a student at Cedar Ridge Elementary School a hi-5 during a class visit.

In 2004, the Authority partnered with two County schools for pilot recycling projects. Southeast High School’s special education classes partnered with the Authority for the first pilot project for school recycling. Southeast High School and its “Recycling Raiders” continue to set the bar for the other participating schools within our program. By 2009, the Authority had expanded recycling collection programs to all 30 City and County schools. Authority staff developed monthly newsletters to be sent to the schools to inform the staff and students of the schools progress for the month and report the amount of material received from each school.