Looking for a fun and interactive activity for America Recycles Day? Check out the Keep America Beautiful Ready, Set, Sort game to engage and educate participants on what can and cannot be recycled in their community. This game can be adapted for schools, local businesses, community events, and office settings.
The game is simple. The first step is doing some background research on what can be recycled in your community so you can be sure you are passing along the correct information to participants (check in with your local recycling coordinator if you have questions). The next step is collecting materials. Make the game as challenging as you would like with materials from all waste streams (white paper, mixed paper, aluminum, trash, etc). A full list of item ideas is available here. You will need a bin for each waste stream represented and the trash bin labeled ‘landfill’ to remind participants where their waste goes if it cannot be recycled.
Next, you will need to set up your game. The basic components of the set up are lining up the bins, placing your pile of unsorted materials, and determining a starting position for your participant(s). Here is where you can get creative depending on your audience, location, and available space. This activity can be adapted as a relay race with multiple participants at a time or used to engage individuals while tabling. You can refer to the Set Your Station section of the Ready, Set, Sort guide to help determine the best set-up for your event. After the participants have sorted the materials, tally how many items are correctly sorted. It may be helpful to fill out an answer sheet describing where each item should be sorted prior to the game to help quickly determine the results (template is available in the Ready, Set, Sort guide). Using your background research, be ready with suggestions about where to recycle items that the town or county recycling program does not accept. As always, don’t forget to be positive and encouraging throughout the learning process.
Good luck, and thank you for being a recycling champion in your community!