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Recycle Rally

The Recycle Rally is a friendly interschool competition that empowers students to make positive change, raise awareness about taking care of the Earth, and unites school communities around a common goal: Recycle Right: It Rocks!

We invite all Chittenden County K-12 schools to gauge their recycling programs, educate the community about what goes in which bin, and get students charged up about improving their school’s sustainability efforts through this fun competition.

How it works

During the Rally, schools compete for points to win the CSWD Recycle Rally trophy by “recycling right” AND the Changemaker Award for the most improved school.

2018 Recycle Rally winners at C.P Smith Elementary School holding up their trophy in the gym.
2018 Recycle Rally winners: C.P Smith Elementary School

Not sure what goes in the blue bin? View our handy recycling poster (see Rally Resource Box in the sidebar) to help your team determine what belongs in the recycling—and what does not.

Recycle Rally Levels

90–110 points: Recycling Rock Star
70–89 points: Recycling Wizard
0–70 points: Recycling Apprentice

How to compete

  1. Register your school
    Registration begins August 28, 2023.

Register your school

  1. Pick a Team & Bin Locations
    Pick a team of 4-6 students to conduct the survey. This may be a Green Team, Environmental Club, or a group of interested students. You do not need to survey all the bins in your school; just pick a representative sample, for a minimum of 10 trash bins and 10 recycling bins.
  2. Complete Four Bin Surveys & Calculate Results
    The Recycle Rally runs from October 9, 2023 until Nov. 10, 2023. Download the worksheets to record data for each survey (worksheets also available in the sidebar), and collect data during 4 of those 5 weeks, on any day of the week. Try to do one survey per week. Record each location and enter the number of correct/incorrect bins in the appropriate columns.  You must complete a minimum of 4 surveys.

How to do a bin survey

Check trash bins

  • Ignore empty trash bins – they do not count as “correct” or “incorrect.”
  • The trash bin will be scored as “correct” if it does not contain Blue Bin recyclable items (poster available for download in resource box).
  • If the trash bin contains one or more recyclable items, it is scored as “incorrect.”

Check recycling bins

  • Ignore empty recycling bins – they do not count as “correct” or “incorrect.”
  • The recycling bin will be scored as “correct” if it does not contain any trash items.
  • If the recycling bin contains one or more trash items, it is scored as “incorrect.”

Record survey data

Record data using the Bin Survey Worksheet, which will automatically calculate the “Percent Correct” for each type of bin and the “Percent Correct for All Bins.” You can print out the datasheet templates for easy data collection, but you will still need to enter the data into the spreadsheets and include with the data submission form.

  1. Submit Bin Survey Data
    Submit all of your completed data sheets to Rhonda Mace using the data submission form by Nov. 10, 2023. Simply attach your digital data sheets to the form. You may complete two surveys in one week if needed to meet the four-survey requirement by the end of the Rally. You can earn up to 10 extra points for programs and practices that were implemented both before and during the Recycle Rally. You can earn Sustainability Points for Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling actions in the following areas:
    Policies – What specific policies promote waste reduction in your school?
    Practices – What daily practices reduce waste in your school?
    Promotion – What communication strategies promote waste reduction in your school?

    Check out 3 R’s Action Ideas for Schools for inspiration.

Data submission form

  1. Scoring
    Recycle Rally Trophy: Points will be tallied by adding the percent correct of ALL bins plus any Sustainability Points earned.

Changemaker Award: The school showing the greatest positive change percent change between survey 1 and survey 4.

Scoring Example

View example: Maple Tree Middle School

In the example, Maple Tree Middle School found 72% of bins were correct, earning them a Recycle Rally score of 72 points. They also submitted a 3 R’s Action Report that earned them 4 Sustainability Points for a grand total of 76 points: They are Recycling Wizards.

In the event of a tie, CSWD will conduct a Recycle Relay Race at each school to determine the ultimate winners.

  1. Recycle Rally Winner Announcement
    Winners of the CSWD Recycle Rally will be announced on America Recycles Day, November 15, 2023 (in the event of a tie breaker, the winner will be announced 1 day after the last Recycle Relay Race). We will notify the winning school, schedule a formal CSWD Recycle Rally Trophy and Award presentation, and issue a press release to announce the winning schools and to recognize all of the participants.


“Does this go in the Blue Bin?”…”Does that count as an extra point?”

Ask Recycle Rhonda: Send Rhonda a message, or call her at 802-872-8100 ext. 211 with any questions about the Recycle Rally!