RIPR in the Classroom: Recycling Facilities

Nov 6, 2017

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Credit Ambar Espinoza

Story Synopsis

More and more materials are being recycled instead of going into a landfill, but we are not very good at sorting out what is not recyclable. There are 400-500 tons of recycling that come into one facility in Rhode Island each day. In the pre-sort area, workers stand at the conveyor belt and remove anything that isn’t recyclable, especially items that will get tangled in the machinery. Some people are still confused about what can be recycled, such as plastic bags or kitchen knives. Listen to this story to hear about the types of trash at a recycling facility and the steps workers and agencies are taking to solve this problem.

Use with grades 6-9

Common Core State Standards CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.3: Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

Listening Comprehension Questions Assign these questions to your students or answer them together in a group.

  1. What are some of the strange things that have been brought to this recycling facility?
  2. How are teams working to make sure people understand what is able to be recycled?
  3. What are some rules for what kind of plastic and glass can be recycled?
  4. What do you think are the pros and cons of having many rules for recycling?

Discussion Themes Use these questions to get students thinking at the beginning of class. They can use evidence from the story to support their ideas during a class discussion.

  1. In what ways is education important in the efforts to recycle and safety at the facility?
  2. What are your ideas for solving the problem of having too much trash at recycling facilities?

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