CPS recycles 

Learn how your child’s school is working to protect the environment.

November 03, 2008

Chicago Public Schools is going green. Last month, CPS launched an Environmental Action Plan for FY09. Parents, teachers, principals, AIOs, staff, vendors, and partners throughout CPS were invited to learn what CPS is doing for the environment and how you can help.


CPS' top green priorities for the year are:

  • Recycling
  • Saving energy
  • Growing school gardens


Here is how CPS is working to go green by recycling (and saving paper). All Chicago Public Schools can recycle paper, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles, textbooks, toner cartridges, and even batteries and computers. Last year, CPS recycled 5,700 tons of paper. That's enough to save 60,000 trees. Every ton of material recycled saves energy, pollution, and water, and helps keep valuable resources out of landfills. However, that's less than the amount of paper that comes out of Sears Tower offices every week.


How does CPS recycle at your child's school?  (Please note: programs will vary at Charter schools.)


CPS provides:

  • Recycling dumpsters and pick-ups at every school
  • Desk-side recycling bins for paper in each classroom
  • Plastic bottle and aluminum can recycling bins, for hallways and lunchrooms
  • Battery collection through the CPS General Service Mail Run
  •  Recycling Guides
  • Free Things website to exchange supplies and furniture
  • Printer and copier toner cartridge recycling


Each school has a recycling target based on school size, and CPS tracks how much they recycle each week. We then award Recycling Reward$ gift cards to schools that meet their recycling targets over an entire semester as an incentive. Last semester, successful schools received $800 in Office Depot gift cards.


You can track your school's recycling performance online. First, find your school. Then, click on your school's name, and select the "Scorecard" tab.  From there, scroll down and select the Weekly Recycling Report.  


Recycling gives students an easy, daily way to protect the environment and create school pride.  To get involved, look at your school's score and visit your child's school to see if they are taking advantage of CPS' recycling program. Questions? Email recycling@cps.k12.il.us.


View the entire CPS Environmental Action Plan.