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NYSDEC Environmental Education


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York



New York Recycles

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  • This infographic and activity examines the environmental benefits of recycling, what materials/products can be recycled, and the symbol that indicates an item's recyclability.
  • Students will read about the possibilities for production with recycled materials and complete an activity matching recycled objects to their product.
Teaching Tips


  • The resource provides a thorough list of products that come from recycled materials.
  • Students can complete the simple activity within one class period.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know what recycling is. It may also help them to understand what types of things they can recycle and how to recycle them in the classroom.
  • It may benefit students to understand how plastic recycling differs from other types of recycling and why this difference matters.


  • Teachers can use this resource in reading as an activity to follow a story about recycling, such as Milly Zantow: Recycling Revolutionary.
  • This resource can fit within a larger unit on living more sustainably.
  • Students can discuss the amount of litter they see in their community and why it's a problem. Older students can organize a volunteer opportunity to clean up the community.
  • Social studies students can discuss how governments worldwide can pressure businesses to manufacture goods more sustainably.
  • Teachers who don't want to print off copies of the activity can project the image and work as a class or insert the image on a Google Slide or Canva document for students to work independently.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation is a matching activity that teaches students about recycling. The sheet features colorful illustrations, clear text, and sound information linking the recycling bin to items students see every day. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • Related Resources


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