Recycle This
Is recycling a stinky job? Does the recycle truck have a crushing machine? What happens to plastic, paper, metal and glass when you recycle it? Second graders at Macdonough School in Middletown, Connecticut had lots of great questions about recycling. To get answers, Earth Out Loud took an early morning trip on Middletown's recyling truck. We followed a plastic bottle all the way from a curbside bin to single-stream recycling plant (where it got dumped, lifted, moved, sorted and squashed). Play the video below to come along for the ride!

Recycle This

With help from Henry Nunes (recycle truck driver) and Robert Greenhill (recycle plant manager), we track a plastic bottle from a curbside bin to the local single-stream recycling plant. Do you dare to follow?

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Explore Further

play What happens when plastic gets hot? Video: What happens when plastic gets hot?
Amazing uses for old stuff! Gallery: Amazing uses for old stuff!
play Test your recycling skills with an online game Video: Test your recycling skills with an online game
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Think Deeper: Questions to ponder

• How does nature re‐use and recycle? Can you think of some examples?

• How can humans reduce, recuse and recycle to create less garbage? What are some ways that kids can help?

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TAKE THE Challenge

• It can be hard to remember to recycle, even when you want to! Can you create a poster for your home or school to help everyone remember? For an extra challenge, use recycled materials to make it.

• Write a thank‐you letter to someone in your community who is helping with recycling. This could be a custodian at your school, the recycle truck driver in your town, or your town recycling coordinator or public works department. (You can find local Middletown and CT state contacts on the Educator page).

If you answer a challenge and would like to share your response, email us at

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