Generation Zero

Generation Zero

Generation Zero is an in-class youth education program in partnership with Austin Resource Recovery. The program engages K-12 students in fun, hands-on activities which raise awareness about recycling, composting, and conservation while giving students simple solutions for reducing their waste.

Generation Zero programming for the 2016-2017 school year is full. Please register to be added to our waitlist. In addition, check out our Generation Zero Activity Kits available for educators to lead their own Generation Zero activities.

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The Generation Zero model includes three 45-minute Keep Austin Beautiful-led activities, which incorporate a service learning component. The curriculum is divided into grade levels – K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th and 9th-12th – with a different focus for each.

  • K-2nd: Compost Systems – concentrates on hands-on sorting and classifying objects that teaches students about where trash goes and culminates with building a worm bin for your class to keep.
  • 3rd-5th: Recycling Home Habits - emphasizes math skills with hands-on manipulations that teach students about the composition of trash and recycling beyond the basics.
  • 6th-8th: Sorting Our Trash - explores the structure and impact of a landfill and how recyclables are processed, followed by a student-led project addressing waste concerns at the school.
  • 9th-12th: Waste Audit - focuses on proper recycling and waste diversion techniques through a campus waste audit followed by a student-led project addressing positive next steps to achieve zero waste.

Zero Waste Champion Award

The Generation Zero school with the most recycling and composting (pound per student) will be recognized with a cash prize, a commemorative bench, a press event, and recognition at a UT football game! The 2014 Zero Waste Champion is Sims Elementary School.

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