• Views 29
  • Favorites
Photo by Shirley Hirst via Pixabay

Database Provider


Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Civics

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus



Ask a Question

  • This article discusses the environmental benefits of recycling, how the recycling rate can increase in cities worldwide, and the positive impact that can occur if the global recycling rate increases substantially.
  • Students will learn the financial implications and reduction in emissions that will arise if a more aggressive recycling program is adopted.
Teaching Tips


  • This article highlights the need for worldwide cooperation to fight climate change.
  • Students will benefit from seeing how this article organizes data, considers various factors, and discusses the study's limitations.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to understand how landfills contribute to climate change.
  • Some students, especially ELLs, may benefit from having the terms municipal, organic, post-consumer, extraction, interpolation, extrapolation, and others defined before they read the article.
  • Clicking the article's links won't take you to a new tab.


  • Students can use this article and others from Project Drawdown's Table of Solutions to evaluate and compare climate solutions.
  • This article can accompany a brainstorming session where students consider how they can increase recycling rates in their community.
  • This article can support a classroom discussion on how businesses produce goods and how to regulate this production to protect the environment.
  • Economics or science teachers can use this article as a starting point for a lesson about circular business practices. Teachers can challenge students to design a product with the end of the product's life in mind.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Project Drawdown explains how society can cut carbon emissions and save money by adopting different recycling methods. The recycling sector is not currently meeting its full potential for emissions reductions, but changes like the ones suggested can impact climate change considerably. The information in this resource is accurate, though its citation is a bit outdated, and newer information is available. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.7.9-12 Use benefits and costs to evaluate the effectiveness of government policies to improve market outcomes.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review