Schools recycling service and resources

When are my school bins collected? 

The latest  Schools Recycling Calendar 2022-2023 (PDF 1MB) shows when we will empty your bins over the coming months. If you would like a hard copy of the calendar to be sent to your school by post, please email

We will empty your blue-lidded container for recycling fortnightly and your green wheeled bins for food waste weekly.

What goes in my school recycling bins?

We collect the following materials for recycling in the blue lidded container:

  • Mixed plastics - for example, plastic bottles, plastic food trays and tubs
  • Food tins and drink cans
  • Paper
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Food and drinks cartons (for example, Tetra Pak)
  • Clean aluminium foil
  • Empty aerosols

We collect all food waste in your green wheeled bin. This includes cooked and uncooked meat and vegetable waste.

For more information on which bins to use for specific items, please visit our 'Which bin do I use?' page.

For information on how to set up and maintain an effective recycling scheme in your school, visit RecycleNow Schools.

For more information about the recycling service we offer to schools, please call 01442 228000 and ask for "Waste Services".

Worm Spectacular Primary Schools Competition - May/June 2023

Front cover of prize book and wormery

We are running a competition for primary schools in Dacorum to have the chance of winning a signed copy of Darwin's Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular, a newly published book by local Hemel-based author Polly Owen, along with a wormery for your school garden worth £120.

For a chance to win these items for your school, follow the Worm Spectacular Competition - Entry Instructions (PDF 602KB). Please also read the  Competition Terms and Conditions (PDF 151KB).

Entries close at 11.59pm on Friday 9 June 2023

Composting for schools

Each school in the borough is entitled to claim two free composters and two kitchen caddies. These composters are a fantastic educational tool linking to the science curriculum and to the Eco-Schools award scheme.

For more information about claiming school composters, please email

Monsters on a Mission

There’s a new teacher’s pet in town. All primary school classes in Dacorum have been given a monster with a mission - to help you recycle all of your food waste.

Food waste is really bad for the planet, especially when it is thrown away in a normal rubbish bin. This is because when the food breaks down it releases a harmful greenhouse gas called methane, which is one of the causes of climate change. This is bad news for the environment and affects all of the people and animals on our planet. But the good news is, there is something you can do to help.

The number one best thing to do is eat all of your food, or save it to eat another time. But if it can’t be eaten, and it can’t be saved, then it needs to be recycled. This is where your new teacher’s pet comes in...

Class mission statement: Feed the teacher’s pet, to help save the planet.

By feeding your teacher’s pet all of your unwanted food scraps like banana peels, orange skins and apple cores, these can be turned into energy through a process called recycling. When food waste is recycled, it doesn’t make the bad, harmful gas. Instead it makes a good gas called bio-gas which can be used to produce energy. It also makes fertiliser, too, which helps crops of new food grow big and strong. Make sure not to feed your pet any packaging like plastic or cardboard as this will make it unwell.

Recycling one banana peel provides enough energy to power a mobile phone twice. Every classroom in your school, and every school in your town, has been given a teacher’s pet, with one simple mission - to help you recycle your food waste, and ultimately, help save the planet from climate change.

But, the monsters can only do this with your help:

Take a look at our  Monsters on a Mission - Teacher's Guide (PDF 851KB) to understand exactly what you need to do next. We have also put together a  Class presentation (PDF 6MB) to introduce Monsters on a Mission and its related activities to your class. The presentation also introduces the topic of food waste, climate change and recycling. There is also a  Monsters on a Mission class activity (PDF 566KB) to try.

You also wish to refer to our useful  School Recycling Guide (PDF 782KB).

Monsters on a Mission competition

During September and October 2021, we received some wonderful photos of your Teacher's Pet caddies plus some fantastic stories of how all the classes have got involved such as creating posters, writing stories, and even writing to Boris Johnson. The competition is now closed but we would still love to see how your Monsters are settling into their classrooms so feel free to email us pictures and stories.

Congratulations to our winning school - Yewtree Primary in Hemel Hempstead - who will receive £250 to spend on an eco project of their choice. All schools that entered will receive eco-friendly goodies, too.

If you have any questions, please email

School resources

Visit the WasteAware education pages to view and download the Challenge Waste pack, children's activity leaflet and other resources. Below are some further resources:

Schools newsletter - The SEED

The SEED (Supporting Environmental Education in Dacorum) is our newsletter for primary schools. It provides teachers with the latest local environmental news, campaigns, classroom ideas and links to free resources. If you are a local school or children's group, sign up to the mailing list, or if your school is taking part in any environmental projects, and you'd like to feature in the next edition of the SEED, please email

Sign up to The SEED email newsletter

Previous editions of The SEED can be download below:

School recycling talks

A photo of a woman teaching school children about recyclingWe are available to provide classroom talks, assemblies and activities. The topics we cover include:


We introduce the four Rs - reduce, reuse, repair and recycle - explaining why we need to recycle and how we can put it into practice from day to day. We also promote our household recycling service to make sure that staff and students are recycling at home.


We explain what sustainability means in relation to following the waste hierarchy, why it is important to think about sustainability in our day-to-day lives and give some small steps students can follow at home to live more sustainably.

Litter awareness

We explain the different types of litter, and the consequences of throwing litter, such as its effect on the environment. We discuss what can be done to help the problem of litter. All talks are followed by a question and answer session. A litter pick on your school grounds can also be carried out after the talk.

To discuss what we can offer, please contact the Waste Services department on 01442 228000 and ask for 'Waste Services'.

Alternative school recycling schemes

There are a range of different free recycling schemes available to schools, including:

Terracycle - free Writing Instrument Recycling Programme.

Empties Please - ink cartridge recycling scheme pays your school to recycle.

Toy and book exchanges

Running a toy and book exchange in your school is a fantastic way to promote and educate your students about reuse. Our  Toy and Book Exchange advice sheet (PDF 556KB) has all the information you will need to run an event in your school.

Litter pick equipment loans

If you would like to host a litter picking event in and around your school, our Clean, Safe and Green department are able to help provide you with litter pick sticks, tabards and rubbish and recycling bags.

All equipment is loaned on a first come, first served basis. We can also arrange for the bags of litter to be collected following your event.

If you would like to borrow equipment for a litter pick, please call 01442 228000 and ask for 'Clean, Safe and Green' or email