Schools recycling service and resources

When are my school bins collected?

Pupils using our schools recycling service The latest  School recycling calendar - December 2020 - November 2021 (PDF 1MB) shows when we will empty your bins over the coming months. A hard copy of the calendar will also be sent to your school by post.

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".

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, including details of the competition. 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

We really want to see what your monster looks like and how it is settling into its new home. We are calling on all classrooms to send over their best monster photos and videos. You can get as creative with these as you like, the more imaginative the better.

Every class that submits a photo or video of their monster by the deadline of Friday 22 October 2021 will have the chance to win a prize and every school that has submitted an entry will receive a prize for taking part.

All photos and videos will be posted on social media and, during Halloween week, residents will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite monsters. As such, please ensure that if pupils are used in photos/videos the correct permissions are in place to allow this.

The winning school will receive eco-themed prizes worth up to £250.

Enter the competition

Please note: if the file size exceeds 10MB, please send via WeTransfer.

Alongside the photo or video, let us know:

  • Teacher’s Pet name
  • Year group
  • Teacher’s name
  • Any anecdotal information about how your class have engaged with Monsters on a Mission.

Full competition terms and conditions are available here:  Monsters on a Mission - Competition terms and conditions (PDF 315KB).

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 competition - Biodiversity Day 

Insect sit and study centreThis year the theme for World Biodiversity Day (Saturday 22 May 2021) was "We’re part of the solution". Ensuring that our schools were able to participate locally was a big part of how we wanted to celebrate this message.

We ran a competition, that was open to all primary schools in Dacorum, for the chance to win a plant and insect sit-and-study centre (pictured). The study centre will make a great addition to any outdoor area, particularly in school gardens or near bug hotels. Setting up a project around the study centre can also be used towards an Eco-School award. We also gave out packets of wildflower seeds to schools.

For further details on the competition, please read the  Biodiversity Day – Primary School Competition Terms and Conditions (PDF 393KB).

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. Please note at the moment all talks are done virtually but we aim to be adaptable and will try our best to cater to your requirements. 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

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