School holiday recycling fun 7 days of activities for the kids

Australian children are passionate about recycling. In fact, some argue they are far more passionate than many adults and often teach their parents new habits![1]  The next generation will be vital in supporting Australia to lift its recycling performance.

Australia is currently only ranked 21st out of the top OECD countries for recycling.[2] Whilst as a nation we recycle more than half our household waste, we need to drastically improve this figure to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills. 

Recycling education in the home is one of the key tools we can use to fight the war on waste.  When it comes to involving the kids, there are many ways to both learn positive recycling habits and have a fun time! To kick off the new year, we have created a list of 7 kid-friendly activities to do one week during the school holidays to support household recycling.

1.       Make your own ‘Recycling Centre’

Creating a home recycling centre can be a lot of fun, as well as a great educational activity for the kids.  The concept is: get three or four boxes/containers/crates and allocate a recyclable material to each. For example, cans, glass, plastic and cardboard.  Kids can then decorate the boxes as they wish.  There are so many examples of decoration ideas, but we recommend using old boxes and decorating with recycled goods. This way, once the box fills up, you can simply either place the entire box in the home recycling bin or deliver to your local recycling centre. Check out this Pinterest link for more ideas.

2.       Create your own Container Deposit Scheme

Adding to the above idea, why not extend the recycling centre to create your own Container Deposit Scheme. Majority of states in Australia now have a container deposit refund program established so it is important to educate children about how this works.[3]  Simply add an additional box/container to the above ‘home recycling centre’ called ‘Containers for Deposit Scheme.’ Then on a regular basis, you can check and count the containers in the box and offer the kids a real cash refund. (Don’t worry, you will get the money back when you drop the containers off at your local container deposit recycling facility!)

3.       Build a worm farm for the garden

In Australia, around a third of landfill waste bins routinely contain recyclables or green waste.  During the school holidays, home food waste increases due to more family members usually being in and around the house.  An eco/family friendly alternative to throwing out scraps is to transfer unwanted/leftover food to a worm farm. Not only is this a fun activity for the kids, but it also creates excellent compost for the garden. Bunnings has created an easy to follow short clip on how to make a worm farm here:

4.       Give back after Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year for kids. However, many end up with A LOT more toys and items after the giving period ends. January can be the perfect time to undertake a clean out with the kids and implement a ‘give back’ process. World-renowned decluttering superstar Marie Kondo (creator of the KonMari tidying method) suggests this process is best done with the kids. Kondo is known for her "spark joy" method and says ‘it applies to kids' toys too: Keep only the best toys, or the ones your kids are still playing with. Ask them to donate the ones they don't love anymore to a child who will. This can help to free up precious space—and make room for new toys to enter.’[4]

5.       Make a bird feeder

There are many ways to recycle goods into bespoke birdfeeders.  It’s not only a fun activity for kids of all ages, but the end result means they can also watch out for different birds in the backyard.  You can create bird feeders from toilet paper rolls, egg-cartons, tins and even milk containers! We have compiled a list of our favourite recycled birdfeeders for you to try:

6.       Scavenger Adventure!

Firstly, buy some garden gloves for the kids because this one may be a little grubby! In 2018, the term ‘Plogging’ was introduced to Australia.[5] Plogging basically means ‘pick up rubbish whilst jogging’. The term "Plogging" is a mix of the Swedish words for "to jog" and "to pick up" — "plocka upp" and is popular across Scandinavia. The kid’s version of Plogging is a Rubbish Scavenger Hunt!  This is a great way to get the kids outside and doing something eco-friendly. The idea is to do this activity with the family, or a group of kids at a national park, beach or public location. has created a Rubbish Scavenger Hunt list sheet which makes it easy to tick off things on the list.[6] You can even create a points scale so the more rubbish collected the better the score:

7.       Make your own recycling video

There are many TV shows and short videos to educate kids (and adults!) on recycling. One of the most popular recycling shows in Australia currently is the ABC’s War on Waste: To reinforce learnings about recycling, why not get the kids to create their own ‘War on Waste’ movie. These days, most smartphones can create movies and there are many apps to help edit if they want that ‘professional touch!’

Looking for more recycling inspired activities for the school holidays? Check out our article on 10 Creative Ways For Families To Reduce Reuse And Recycle In The Home.


About Container Deposit Systems

Container Deposit Systems was formed with a vision to oversee the implementation of improved operational practices in recycling facilities.  The company offers a range of services to recycling depot facilities to drive productivity improvements and transition traditional recycling facilities into modern technically advanced operators.

The company achieve this through patented technologies which deliver manufacturing automation to auto-sort materials via a highly sensitive multi-sensor integration.  Systems integrations enable facilities to further gain efficiencies through workflows, materials handling, logistic processes, facility layout and design, customer interaction and data acquisition and management. 

Container Deposit Systems technologies are designed and manufactured in Australia with local partners Sage Automation and Macweld Engineering.

For more information, please contact us directly.