Education Programs

Classroom Programs

The District offers numerous free or partially-subsidized classroom programs focused on reducing waste.

Programs by the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District

District programs are free and last approximately 45 minutes. A minimum of 12 is required. To schedule, please email Jenny Lohmann. The following are for pre-k through seventh grade.

Changing States of Matter
In this lesson, students will follow crude oil from its virgin state to gas, and finally to a solid plastic. Next, they will "upcycle" a non-recyclable plastic container into a creation similar to a Shrinky-Dink®.

Composting 101 
In Hamilton County, more than 22% of what goes into our landfills could be composted. Learn the fundamentals of backyard composting and indoor vermicomposting (worm bins). Composting is an easy and effective way to keep organics out of the landfill.

Conservation of Resources
In Hamilton County, nearly 41% of what we throw in the trash could be recycled. Students will learn the whats, whys and hows of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Food is a Valuable Resource
Anyone who has walked through a cafeteria knows firsthand how much good food is being thrown out, but did you know 40% of the food in the U.S. never gets eaten even though one in six in Hamilton County is food insecure? This lesson will bring awareness to your students of the real value of food, introduce food as a system, offer tips on wasting less while helping others who are hungry.

Paper Factory 
Nearly 32% of the material going into our landfills is paper, making it the largest component of the waste stream. All but 2% of paper is either recyclable or compostable. This program describes the production of paper from its virgin state and recycled state, and allows students to participate in making recycled paper.

Recycling is Doggone Easy (for Pre-K and Kindergarten)
Students will be able to read a book then participate in a recycling activity, sing a song, and do a cheer in this introduction to recycling.

Programs by Crystal Clear Sciences

Cost: $55 for schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $10 for low-income schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $125 for first program and $110 for additional programs for schools not registered with the District's Recycling Assistance Program (must be within 90 minutes of Cincinnati, Ohio).

Contact: E-mail crystalclearscience@icloud.com or call 513-553-2252

Fantastic Plastic
Grades K–12, 45 minutes
This hands-on program teaches kids the rules of recycling plastic. It also covers physical properties of matter and includes great reuse activity ideas.

Paper Capers 
Grades K–12, 45 minutes
Students will learn about the importance of the entire recycling loop: buy things that can be recycled, recycle them, and purchase goods made from recycled products. They will also participate in a paper recycling demonstration.

R’s for Life!
Grades K-8, 45 minutes
Teach your students about reducing, reusing, and recycling (3 R’s) while reinforcing academic content standards! R’s For Life is a fun, fast-paced program that will leave kids with a new understanding of the impact they have on our local environment and their futures. This program empowers and inspires kids to be a part of the solution and features many great reuse projects and experiments! (This program is also available as an assembly; see the "Assemblies" section of the website for a full description.)

Recycling Rules 
Grades K–12, 45 minutes
This hands-on program teaches students the science of solids, liquids and gases while teaching how recyclables are sorted at the facility. Students learn properties of objects as they use physical properties to separate a mixture that contains the resources used to make glass, plastic, paper and aluminum.

Rotten Science 
Grades K–12, 45 minutes
This program delves deeper into the science of the carbon cycle and composting. Students will learn that one of the largest parts of the waste stream can recycle itself!

Taking Charge of Recycling 
Grades 6–Adult, 45 minutes
This program is designed for middle and high school students and adults who want to bring recycling to their schools, homes, churches and other community areas. Attendees will learn how to calculate benefits/costs, the infrastructure of recycling programs, and the way that recycling helps us do our "civic duty." Many math, science and social studies standards are covered in this program.

Programs by Mother Nature

Cost$46 for schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $10 for low-income schools registered with Recycling Assistance Program; $92 for schools not registered with the District's Recycling Assistance Program (must be within 60 miles of Loveland, Ohio).

Contact: E-mail jgonzales@mothersnature2.com or call 513-697-8826

Composting: Let it Rot 
Grades PreK–4, 45 minutes
Students will learn about what makes great compost, and then get to roleplay creating their own compost pile. Students must deduce what processes need to occur in order for them to remain a viable "microhabitat." Then, working in small groups, students "dissect" compost, sorting, classifying, and charting what they find. A rousing chorus of "Dirt Made My Lunch" helps reinforce that composting is important for everyone.

Recycling: Where Does Our Garbage Go? Puppet Show 
Grades PreK–4, 30 to 45 minutes
Students will watch a brief puppet show about recycling, make recycled paper, sing songs about recycling, and much more!

School Assemblies

The District offers free or partially-subsidized assemblies for schools that recycle and are registered with the Recycling Assistance Program.

Assemblies by the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District

District programs are free and last 20 to 40 minutes, based upon the grade. To schedule, please email Jenny Lohmann. The following are for K through 12 grade.

Reduce Your Use: Go Green!
Get the whole school involved with this multi-media assembly that incorporates a friendly gameshow competition between students (or students and teachers) on reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Be a Food Hero, Commit to Zero
Stop the cafeteria madness! With 40% of all food produced in the U.S. not being eaten, students will learn that throwing out good food is not okay. Giving them tips and tricks to avoid wasting food will also teach them about all the resources that go into food, and the difference their everyday actions can make.

Assemblies by Crystal Clear Sciences

One assembly presentation free for schools participating in the Recycling Assistance Program, with a $25 co-pay for each additional presentation or a $10 co-pay for each additional presentation at low-income schools; $275 for schools not registered with the District's Recycling Assistance Program . Assemblies are for grades K to eight and last 45 minutes. To schedule, contact Crystal Clear Science, Inc. or 513-553-2252.

R’s for Life

R’s For Life is a fun, fast-paced show that will leave kids with a new understanding of what impact they have on their local environment and their futures. This program focuses on empowering and inspiring kids to be a part of the solution. Renewable and non-renewable resources, economics, and citizenship all come into play in this lively discussion. Colorful and interesting props help kids learn about how they can and why they should reduce, reuse, and recycle everyday. This program motivates kids to be thoughtful of their actions and learn more about what they can do to help. A recycling post card for each child ensures learning doesn’t end once Crystal Clear Science, Inc. leaves. This assembly is limited to 200 students or less per program. Limited number of programs available.

STEAM! Powered Recycling

This fun and fast-paced STEAM program is filled with experiments guaranteed to inspire and inform. Kids learn how electromagnets separate steel, eddy currents separate aluminum and light helps separate plastics. Metal and plastic are melted, remolded, and cooled in front of their eyes. Math demonstrates the costs and savings of recycling. Electrical generators and Tesla coils teach energy use and changes in memorable demonstrations. Examples of the “art” in upcycling projects encourage kids to be creative! The discussion of renewable and sustainable alternatives reinforces core standards in technology and the impact of humans on the environment. This program’s memorable demonstrations reinforce big science ideas across grade levels.

Field trips for the 2017-2018 school year are full. Please check back in August 2018. 

Field Trips

America Recycles Day at the Zoo

Location: Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Offered: Mid-November.
Students will use a passport to explore the grounds of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden to learn how recycling helps not only people but creatures all over the world.

Compost Kids

Location: Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati
Offered: 9 a.m.–11:30 a.m. in the fall and spring of every year. 
Students learn about composting, healthy soil, water conservation, and environmentally-friendly gardening while participating in a number of hands-on activities. Ohio Science Standards met available here. School groups are welcome to pack a waste-free lunch and eat outdoors on the patio after the program. This trip is limited to a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 45 students per day with a minimum of one chaperone per 10 students.

Don't Trash It!

Grades: 1–8, The trip is limited to a maximum of 50 students per day.
Location: Fernald Preserve and Rumpke Landfill
Beginning the trip at Fernald Preserve, students will participate in an interactive hike and activities emphasizing nature’s way of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Programming will continue in the LEED platinum certified Visitors Center. Groups are welcome to picnic at the outside shelter before leaving for the Rumpke landfill tour. At Rumpke, students witness up-close views of an active, working landfill and learn the many ways our environment is protected from this mountain of garbage.

Trash Talk

Grades: 9–12
Locations: Rumpke’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and Rumpke Sanitary Landfill
Whether you teach Environmental Science, Engineering, Physics, Economics, or Civics, this field trip is a real eye-opening experience for both students and faculty. Groups are welcome to pack a waste free lunch and eat indoors at the MRF before heading to the landfill. The trip requires a minimum of 10 students and is limited to a maximum of 40 students. 
Make it a full day! You may also visit Fernald Preserve and tour an exhibit including environmental cleanup, ecological restoration and legacy management.

Where Does All the Trash Go?

Grades: 1–8
Location: Rumpke Landfill and Trailside Nature Center
This two-part trip includes a tour of the Rumpke landfill and Trailside Nature Center. At Rumpke, students witness an active, working landfill and learn the ways our environment is protected from this mountain of garbage. At Cincinnati Parks' Trailside Nature Center, students participate in an interactive program that includes a hike to observe decomposition, followed by games and activities about recycling, composting, and natural cycles.