About Recycling Council of Ontario

Founded in 1978, Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) is a member-based non-profit environmental organization whose mandate is the elimination of waste through activities that reduce, reuse, and recycle (3Rs). To that end, our mission is to inform and educate all members of society about the generation of waste, the avoidance of waste, the more efficient use of resources, and the benefits and/or consequences of these activities.

We have a long history of designing and executing high-profile school campaigns and public events that showcase the 3Rs into learning opportunities and action. Schools play a pivotal role in educating their students and communities about environmental stewardship, which is why we provide turn-key educational campaigns for schools in Ontario and across Canada. While our projects and programs all focus on a variety of issues, they all adhere to the 3Rs hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle - in that order. 

Learn more about what we do: www.rco.on.ca

Other Educational Campaigns

Check out some of our other educational campaigns we run throughout the year!

Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a national environmental campaign that builds awareness around issues of sustainable and responsible consumption, encourages choice for more environmentally responsible products/services, and promotes actions that divert more waste from disposal and conserve natural resources.

The program’s educational resources and take action messaging empower all Canadians to adopt more environmentally conscious choices. There are a variety of ways schools can get involved in Waste Reduction Week in Canada, such as organizing an event, accessing our tailored resources, or proclaiming Waste Reduction Week.


Plastic Bag Grab challenge


The Plastic Bag Grab challenge invites elementary schools (junior kindergarten - grade eight) across the country to collect as many single-use plastic carry-out shopping bags for recycling from May 29 - June 2, 2017.  Schools that collect the most plastic bags for recycling per student and/or show their enthusiasm for the challenge and its message on social media, are eligible to win prizes to support environmental initiatives in their school or community. In 2016 more than 400 schools participated and collected 2,279,601 plastic bags for recycling.




The Waste-Free Lunch Challenge is a school program that encourages schools to decrease the amount of garbage they produce, and educates students, staff, and parents about waste reduction. The challenge, which can be integrated in Ministry of Education curriculum, runs during Waste Reduction Week in Canada (Oct. 16-22, 2017) and is open to Ontario classroom and schools from junior-kindergarten to grade eight. 

Since 2010 Ontario schools have prevented more than 100,000 kilograms (220,000 lbs.) of food and packaging from entering disposal through the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge. The average Waste-Free Lunch Challenge student is able to reduce their waste from 33 grams to just 21 grams per day. Some schools are able to reduce their waste down to just three grams per student per day.