Recycling Scavenger Hunt

Go out into the community to collect and sort recyclable materials.


To learn the types of recyclable materials; to help make community cleanups enjoyable


  • List of recyclables to find 
  • Garbage bags
  • Hand sanitizer or soap


2 hours


This game can enliven community cleanups and raise awareness about litter. 

Invite kids to share with the group the reasons we should recycle. Discuss the different materials that can be recycled locally and where they are collected. To prepare the scavenger hunt, identify which types of recyclables are commonly discarded on the ground and which are accepted by your local recycling center. Give each team of two to three kids a copy of a list of the items they will be searching for.

Explain the objective and rules. Determine a time limit and where teams can and cannot go. The team with the most recyclables—correctly separated, of course—wins. Subtract points from team scores for trash and minutes late. Below is a sample list of recyclable materials and their point values:

  • Caps or tabs: 1 point each
  • Plastic bottles: 3 points each
  • Glass bottles: 5 points each
  • Cardboard: 5 points each
  • Aluminum cans: 8 points each
  • Batteries: 10 points each

Be sure to bring hand sanitizer or soap and water for students to clean up afterward.

This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Mexico.

Related lessons

View all
Read More
Read More
Read More

Help us understand our audience

If you are in the U.S., please enter your five-digit zip code to help us better understand who uses our resources for educators.
Skip this