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How can I reduce litter on my school site?

Keeping their school clean and tidy is something that children should learn about early on. Litter can turn a once beautifully clean area into an unsightly one and leave a playground, for example, dirty and unsafe to play in.

Installing outdoor waste bins around your school premises can greatly help to keep the area safe and welcoming for both students and staff alike. Read on to find out what to look out for when purchasing outdoor litter bins for school environments.

Number of bins 

Having one or two bins present in your school isn’t enough to combat the litter problem. Snack wrappers, water bottles and plastic bags can quickly add up to large volumes during lunch breaks and having more bins around the property can encourage good habits, which may lead to less litter.

Increasing the number of waste bins also eradicates excuses for littering, including the most popular – “I couldn’t find a bin nearby”.

Positioning

By methodically placing waste bins around school you can cut down on litter. But where are the best places to position them?

To start, you could conduct a litter audit of your school to figure out how much and what kind of rubbish students are throwing away, so you know what litter you’re aiming to eliminate, as well as the types of receptacles to use and where to position them.

Placing bins in areas with high traffic, such as exits from a canteen or next to any benches around the playground, is always a good place to start.

Signage

There’s no point in investing in new litter and recycling bins if your students cannot find them.

Aside from the fact that they need to be strategically placed in areas where children congregate such as outside assembly halls, they should also be accompanied with signposts. These clearly indicate that a bin is found here, and what type of rubbish can go in it.

Health and safety

The best types of outdoor waste bins for schools include wall or post mounted ones. They must be securely fixed with the appropriate fixings. And any freestanding rubbish bins should be secured to the ground with fixing bolts to prevent them from toppling over, spilling their contents and potentially causing injuries.

By choosing these you can increase health, safety and fire standards within your school, and also discourage any local vermin and wildlife.

Recycling

The main aim of installing outdoor waste bins is to prevent litter from cluttering the ground, but what if you could also reduce the amount of recyclable litter that ends up in landfills?

By giving kids a better understanding of the school recycling programme and how they can effectively participate, you can help them to understand what they are throwing away and where it belongs.

Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk

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