Don’t Dump It, Recycle It
A Lesson Plan

Free Activities and Worksheets for Exploring Recycling and Understanding the Impact of Waste on the Environment

Most students are familiar with sorting waste into different categories—but they may be missing the why, the how, and the what of recycling!

Brought to you by the Mattress Recycling Council, this 5-task lesson plan was designed to guide your students through the journey of waste, the impact on the natural environment, and how to mitigate illegal dumping. The last lesson offers facts and statistics about mattress recycling and how mattress components can be broken down into useful materials.

Breaking it all down

Illegal Dumping

Students learn the meaning of illegal dumping, explore common examples, and make connections to their own experiences.

Tracking Your Waste

Students think about their household trash generation within a single day, then create categories to organize their observations.

Waste Sort

Students discuss the 3 R’s, review different types of waste and sort that waste based on proper disposal methods.

Mattress Recycling

Students explore the Mattress Recycling Council’s program Bye Bye Mattress and calculate its estimated yearly impact.

Learning about Landfills

Students learn the definition of a landfill, decomposition and the importance of recycling and use that knowledge to connect it to mattress recycling.

The lesson plan also offers a facilitation guide, glossary, and references available in PDF and Google Slide format.

What others are saying…

“Educating youth and community members on the multiple problems that illegal dumping causes, the resources available for them to prevent illegal dumping, and most importantly the benefits of recycling and reducing our waste generation, is vital to make our communities healthier, more sustainable and resilient.”

Nayamin Martinez
Executive Director of Central California Environmental Justice Network

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