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Engaging With Schools and Universities

There is a real need to encourage pupils and students to recycle where ever they are, whether that is at home or while out and about on the go. Directly engaging with them while at school, and studying in higher education is a great way to increase their understanding around the importance of collecting materials for recycling, driving up collection rates and understanding how best to achieve results. As these younger generations are the consumers of tomorrow the best way to ensure high collection rates in the future is to establish a consistent message and provide recycling infrastructure in any location that has general waste bins. A study realised by SITA and commissioned by the National Union of Students (NUS) shows that people attending place of education want to recycle, the problem is that the infrastructure is not available to allow them to do this with ease.

Working with Partners

Nestlé Waters

Nestlé Waters, who are members of RECOUP, have been working with us for a number of years to engage with schools and the local community of Buxton, Derbyshire. During 2012 and 2013 the “Recycle Cycle” project has introduced recycling infrastructure at 9 schools throughout the community including both primary and secondary level schools, the primary schools feed the secondary schools in the area so there is a real consistent and continuous message around the importance of recycling.

As well as introducing recycling infrastructure, the project looked to increase the understanding around recycling and to deliver the message that waste is not waste at all but a valuable resource. To drive behavioural change, four of the local schools took part in a competition to create a poster, poem, slogan or second use for a plastic bottle which was then used to encourage others to recycle. In 2013 we saw the project develop further down the lines of direct engagement with pupils of Buxton primary schools, and Wastebuster joined the project to help deliver educational presentations that were exciting and informative, while also delivering the important message of wasting less and recycling more. So far Buxton’s recycle rates have increased over the duration of the project.

Coca-Cola Enterprises 

RECOUP work with Coca-Cola Enterprises on a number of projects, one of which was to deliver a nationwide recycle on the go project known as the “Recycle Zone” scheme. This project set up 124 zones across the UK with 17 of these going into colleges and universities. Coca-Cola Enterprises understood the need to drive behavioural change and increase the recycling infrastructure at these types of location.

The project aim was to spread a consistent message that you should recycle wherever you are, Coca-Cola Enterprises invested in over 900 recycling units that were placed out across campuses and college sites allowing students to recycle with ease while on the go. The project collected data and recorded trends over the first three years, results showed that recycling rates increased while the levels of waste that were sent to landfill fell. The feedback received was positive and is another indicator that the want is there to recycle but the infrastructure is sometimes not available.


Wastebuster (CIC) is a Community Interest Company designed to bring social, economic and environmental benefits to communities through environmental education and waste reduction initiatives.

Wastebuster aim to deliver waste education that will inspire and engage children to make sustainable lifestyle choices - to activate real and positive change in school, at home and in the wider community.

Working with a wide range of cross-sector partners, Wastebuster deliver a range of innovative Recycling Rewards programmes, a corporate office Eco-Champion and schools volunteer programme to encourage pro-environmental behaviour and support local communities. Wastebuster have also developed award winning education centres show how changes in the way we learn, live, play, work, and travel can help us to live happy and healthy lives within the resources available to us.

Find out more about Wastebuster here

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