An important,  topical subject, which can be a trashy, untidy, unpleasant theme, but here are a couple of ideas to make it more enjoyable.     Always use good quality, multisensory, recyclable items that can be explored in a variety of ways using their own particular qualities - how they look, feel, smell, how they stack, how they sound when shaken, tapped, rolled around.

Have specific containers to make sorting easier. Bottle racks, crates, trugs, boxes and trolleys will offer scope for popular sorting activities. 
Think about 'packaging', which could create other multisensory activities; shredded paper, bubblewrap, polystyrene chips, newspapers for example.  

Plastic bottles can be rolled, tapped, turned into puppets, or put seeds or pasta shapes inside to create shakers.   

Boxes can be stacked in towers and knocked down, hidden inside each other, squashed flat, used to contain other items.   
Egg boxes have a particular shape/texture, come in different sizes and colours and can conceal hidden objects as well as  stacking well.   

Many bottles/containers retain a distinct smell, which can help the visually impaired identify them as well as being great fun for everyone else! Shampoo bottles have a pleasant aroma, while coffee is instantly recognisable among others. Have a lot of the same items (perhaps different sizes) so there are plenty to go round.

  Encourage cooperative activities; passing objects to each other, helping to lift containers, loading trolleys. Add singing 'work' songs or work rhythms to make the activity more fun.  

  With larger pieces of junk - carpet tubes, newspaper, plastic fencing, it is also possible to create exciting environments to explore….or even build as part of the workshop. 

Recycling pdf

Associated Workshops