Phase Seven: Celebrate success!

When you’ve reached your goal — such as doubling your recycling rate or reducing your total trash by 20% — celebrate!

Host an ice cream social. Write up a one-page summary of the results and share it with the school administration, parents, community members, elected officials, the municipal recycling coordinator, and the county recycling coordinator. Post the summary on the school’s website.

Recycling programs are more likely to last if people feel pride in them. Publicizing the amount of material recycled both within and outside the school community builds support (be sure to publicize the lowering of greenhouse gases, the conservation of natural resources, the creation of jobs, etc., that results from the recycling process). Consider public address announcements, certificates of achievement, photos in the school newsletter, or a hall of fame. Notices in school publications add to the excitement.

All key personnel will be devoting a great deal of time and energy to implementing and maintaining the new recycling program. Don’t forget to recognize each one. Superintendents and principals can recognize outstanding efforts, and anyone can offer encouragement or thanks at staff meetings. Try to be aware of special contributions to the recycling program, and be sure the people behind these contributions receive the recognition they deserve.