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Waste Education (Schools and Nurseries)

The Waste Team can work with your nursery, primary school or secondary school to offer free waste minimisation and recycling information and resources.


The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle message is incorporated into interactive lesson plans, PowerPoint Presentations, wall displays and activities to encourage young people to think about the local and global impacts of waste. Details of our educational lessons can be found below.

The information and resources provided by the Waste Team are regularly updated so please check this website for any news, updates, competitions and downloadable resources.

Waste Services offer a range of resources which link directly with the Curriculum for Excellence and Eco-Schools.

The Waste Team can provide the following:

CRC tours - Please note that we are unable to provide Community Recycling Centre (CRC) tours to nurseries, schools and community groups. Health and Safety guidelines require Waste Services to close the CRC's during the visits and provide Councillors and residents with prior notification. Residents and Commercial customers who attend the CRC's during the visits must wait until the sites are reopened before they can dispose of their waste. This has caused traffic congestion outside of the sites and inconvenience to CRC users. A new waste facility is to be completed within the Whitehill industrial estate (late 2017) and it is hoped that a designated walk way will be installed to accommodate educational tours.

Useful information

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - Waste and Education Resources

Free CPD sessions will be offered this term to cover the waste and recycling resources provided by West Lothian Council Waste Services. Teachers will be shown lesson plans and demonstrations of the resources so that they can be book Lending Kits to be used in class. Please look out for these sessions under Science in the CPD calendar. Information will also be available on this page.

Topics covered will be: Waste Audits, Compost in a Bottle, The Wormery Challenge and Recycled Paper Making. A presentation will cover the contents of the lending kits and discuss lesson plans, health and safety procedures and required equipment/workspaces. Teachers will then be able to handle the lending kits before a question and answer session.

Free internal blue recycling bags and Spacebuddy recycling/refuse bins will also be available to order and educational bin displays, posters, stickers and other resources will be on show for teachers to request.

Teachers are encouraged to bring to the sessions any suggestions for further lending kits or any questions they have regarding what West Lothian Council Waste Services can do to help their school teach children about waste and recycling.

Refreshments will be provided .e.g. tea/coffee/juice/biscuits/cake although teachers are welcome to bring any snacks to the course.

For any additional enquiries, please email:


In-house Rubbish and Recycling Bins

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 make the following provisions: 

  • All businesses, public sector and not-for-profit organisations are required to present metals, plastic, glass, paper and card (including cardboard) for separate collection from 1 January 2014.
  • Food businesses (except in rural areas) which produce more than 5kg of food waste per week to present that food waste for separate collection from 1 January 2016.

Earthcare Bins
Earthcare Bins
There is a legal duty to separate materials for recycling, which SEPA is now enforcing (please add in PDF of legal obligation in attachment). Waste Services has worked with Facilities Management to provide FREE In-house rubbish and recycling bins to all Council buildings including Council run nurseries and schools. An increase in recycling is beneficial to the environment and contributes to several of the Eco-Schools topics including: Waste, Litter and Global citizenship. Schools can also benefit from reduced waste disposal costs - Commercial Waste Information

Please contact if your school requires additional/replacement in-house rubbish and recycling bins and stickers, Spacebuddies or blue recycling bags. School Caddy
School Caddy
 A Waste Officer is also available to conduct a waste assembly to promote the recycling services and can offer support and advice for teachers, Business Managers and other school staff.

Please note: Facilities Management are responsible for the servicing of rubbish and recycling bins as part of the new cleaning service standards. Any replacement black bags, clear recycling sacks or food waste caddy liners should be ordered through Facilities Management staff.

Previous Activities

Seafield PS Paper Making
Seafield PS Paper Making
Seafield Primary School and Nursery Paper Making and Wormery Challenge 

Seafield Primary School and Nursery were visited by a Waste Officer Seafield PS Wormery
Seafield PS Wormery
 as part of the school's Eco Days.

Pupils learned how to compost garden and food waste using wormeries and how to make recycled paper.

The school also completed a Waste Audit to measure how much waste is produced by the school and learn how teachers and pupils can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to reduce waste sent to landfill and conserve natural resources. The school's hard work has recently been rewarded with their 5th Green Flag, well done!

Beatlie School Campus, Livingston 

Beatlie School Campus1
Beatlie School Campus1
Pupils and teachers from Beatlie School Campus completed a waste audit so they can identify new ways to minimise waste and increase recycling.

They will be trialling the new Spacebuddy recycling bins as part of their action plan and hope to recycle more food waste.


Waste Education Displays

Bin Displays
Bin Displays

The Waste Team can lend your school the blue and grey bin and food caddy displays for your classroom or Eco-School assessment visit. The blue bin and food waste caddy show all the new materials that can be recycled in West Lothian. The grey bin is divided to show the amount of recyclate still going to landfill (includes a pie chart on side to show exact percentages). Display boards are also available to borrow to show case any Eco-Schools activities your school has completed.

Waste Education Lending Kits

The Waste Education Kits will be available to all nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools, free of charge, by Waste Services. All lesson plans, resources and equipment will be provided. 

All resources are at a development stage so any feedback or suggestions are encouraged to allow for amendments to the teaching content and/or equipment provided.

Details of available Waste Lending Kits can be found below:

Compost in a Bottle

Pupils bring into class a two litre plastic bottle which they fill up with compostable materials e.g. fruit peelings, garden waste, paper, cardboard. Pupils take note of the types, volume and colour of materials (visually for younger pupils and a written worksheet for older pupils). Changes in colour and volume are recorded over time to show the decomposition process. A PowerPoint presentation is optional which provides background information about why compost is beneficial to the environment in terms of reducing landfill and providing nutrients for plants.

Compost in a Bottle activity contains:

  • Teaching resource including Experiences and Outcomes, Learning Intensions, Success Criteria, suggested resources and activities
  • PowerPoint presentation to guide teachers and pupils through lesson
  • Worksheet for pupils to complete
  • Composting activator (plastic bottles and compostable materials to be provided by pupils and teachers)
  • Health and Safety guidelines
  • Class Completion Certificate

Age range:

Primary 1-7

Participants: Whole class up to 33 pupils

Duration: 45 mins

Paper Making

Seafield PS Paper Making 2
Seafield Primary School
The Paper Making activity teaches pupils about the natural materials required to make paper, why these natural resources need to be preserved, how West Lothian Council collects paper in the blue bins, how it is re-processed and how to reduce, reused and recycle paper.  Pupils also learn how West Lothian prospered from the paper making industry. Pupils then make and decorate their own sheet of recycled paper from paper pulp. Pupils make a 'pledge' to reduce, reuse and recycle paper in school and at home.

The Paper Making activity contains:

  • Teaching resource including Experiences and Outcomes, Learning Intentions, Success Criteria, suggested resources and activities
  • PowerPoint presentation to guide teachers and pupils through lesson
  • Paper facts display for class to borrow
  • Worksheets and quiz for pupils to complete
  • All equipment required
  • Health and Safety guidelines
  • Class Completion Certificate

The Paper Making Age range:

Nursery, Primary 1-7

Participants: Whole class up to 33 pupils (smaller groups for younger pupils as more supervision required)

Duration 45-60mins (dependant on age group and clean up time)

Wormery Challenge

The Wormery Challenge allows pupils to investigate the concept of Vermicomposting (wormeries) by observing a real life wormery, handling the worms, identifying the different types of worms used, the products produced by them and the living requirements they need to survive.

 An initial workshop of 30-45 minutes can be supplemented by allowing each class/school to borrow the wormery for 1 day to 1 week (providing the wormeries are in a secure location and any contact by pupils is strictly supervised to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the worms).

Seafield PS Wormery 2
Seafield Primary School
Wormery Challenge contains:

  • Teaching resource including Experiences and Outcomes, Learning Intentions, Success Criteria, suggested resources and activities
  • PowerPoint presentation to guide teachers and pupils through lesson
  • Worm facts display for class to borrow
  • Worksheets and quiz for pupils to complete
  • Wormery, disposable gloves
  • Health and Safety guidelines
  • Class Completion Certificate

Age range:

Nursery, Primary 1-7

Participants: Whole class up to 33 pupils

Duration 30-45mins (dependant on age group)

Waste Audit and Action Plan

A Waste Audit allows teachers and pupils to understand the types and quantities of waste generated within their school and where the waste is generated.

Waste Audit
Waste Audit

This information will help your school to prioritise which materials should be recycled, what size and number of rubbish/recycling bins your school will need and where they bins should be located.

Seafield PS Waste Audit
Seafield Primary School
A Waste Audit will aid the development of a waste minimisation and recycling action plan to identify effective waste reduction initiatives.  These initiatives will ensure compliance with legislation, enhance pupil learning experiences and may reduce the cost of dealing with your school's waste.

A follow up Waste Audit is required to monitor and evaluate the success of any waste minimisation initiatives and suggest further improvements.

The Waste Audit and Action Plan contain:

  • Teaching resource including Experiences and Outcomes, Learning Intentions, Success Criteria, suggested resources and activities
  • Waste Audit and Action Plan PowerPoint presentation to guide teachers and pupils through each session
  • Series of worksheets for pupils to complete
  • All Personal Protective Equipment and resources required to carry out the Waste Audit and Action Plan
  • Health and Safety guidelines
  • Class Completion Certificate

Age range:

Primary 5-7, secondary schools, adult organisations


10-20 (1 adult required per 10 pupils)


  • Lesson 1-Planning waste audit and walk around 90 mins
  • Lesson 2-Conducting waste audit 90 mins
  • Lesson 3-Classroom calculations 15 mins
  • Lesson 4- Presenting results from initial Waste Audit 15 mins
  • Lesson 5-Waste minimisation and recycling action plan 60 mins
  • Lesson 6- Follow up Waste Audit, Monitoring and Evaluation (completed 12 months after first Waste Audit) 90 mins for repeat audit plus 60 mins for evaluation
  • Lesson 7 Presenting results and conclusions (teachers and pupils can work on presentations/displays in their own time and a Waste Officer can discuss the results and attend class/school presentation).

SpaceBuddy Bins 

The SpaceBuddy recycling and litter bins have been designed especially for schools. The coloured bins have been developed to encourage kids to recycle and tidy up. Waste Services have a limited supply of these bins which can be provided, free of charge. Please order early while stocks last!

Space Buddies
Space Buddies

  • 84 litre bin capacity
  • For internal & external use
  • WRAP compliant colours for recycling streams
  • Includes recycling label and eyes
  • Small base to fit in your busy classroom 440mm diameter
  • Easy access for children - just 810mm tall
  • Bright colours to appeal to the children
  • Suitable for Indoor and Outdoor use
  • Clear waste stream labels, coordinated to lids
  • Super strong and durable Plastic (same materials used to make canoes!)
  • Dimensions:Overall height = 810mm (From top of dome to base); 930mm (From top of moulded eye to base).

Waste Smart

Waste Smart Logo
Waste Smart Logo

The Waste Services received funding from Zero Waste Scotland to train an officer to deliver the Waste Smart programme to anyone within West Lothian Council who feels their workplace could benefit from becoming more waste and resource efficient, for example, Head Teachers, Facilities Management staff and caretakers. The training is available free of charge and all materials will be provided. Training is usually carried out over one day although shorter sessions can be arranged over several days to accommodate shift patterns and business needs. Each course can take 6-8 participants.

Waste Smart is the Chartered Institute of Waste Management standard training course designed to offer accessible, practical and sustainable waste and resource  management skills.

The course is available at foundation or advanced levels. The foundation level is divided into the following sessions:

  • Waste as a resource
  • The environmental impact of waste
  • The cost of managing waste
  • Understanding and applying the Waste Hierarchy
  • Legislation and compliance

For the advanced level, the following sessions are also covered:

  • How to identify opportunities to reduce waste in the workplace
  • Managing resources and wastes in the workplace
  • How to demonstrate improvements

For more information or to book a course, please contact