Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Reuse, Reduce and Recycle - What goes into which containers?

If you're asked what the three R's are and your reply is 'reading, writing and arithmetic', then your age is showing! The three R's are now more likely to mean reuse, reduce and recycle! So, be honest, are you recycling-literate?

Most of us know the importance of recycling, so I won't bother you with the details of that here. On the other hand, how often have you held something in one hand, scratched your head with the other, and asked yourself, 'Now, in which bin have I got to put this?'

Recycling can be a very expensive and complicated process, and unfortunately, there is no international agreement on what gets to be recycled. Rules vary between countries and even between councils. So, it's best to consult your local authority. However, having said that, some basic guidelines do exist; therefore, I've created a quiz to test your recycling knowledge.

It's based on the rubbish disposal system used in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: yellow bin for plastics, blue for paper, green for glass and grey for the general rubbish. If bins in your area are colour-coded differently, just select your answers accordingly. Some of the questions have explanations attached to their answers. Before you can begin the quiz, you will have to key in a user name. This is just for me to identify you. If you are paranoid about this, just key in a nickname. The user id can be left blank, but perhaps a school name would be useful. The e-mail address is also optional: if you key in your email, the result of the quiz will be mailed to you.

Items such as electrodomestic products, furniture and metal have to be handed in at specific recycling centres. Check with your local authorities. In Spain, they are called 'Puntos Limpios' and you can find the nearest one to where you live here: http://www.ocu.org/puntos-limpios/

There are 2 in Las Palmas: one in Polígono Industrial El Cebadal and the other in El Batán.

For the Spanish speaking readers, Repsol has a useful flash animation on recycling: https://imagenes.repsol.com/es_es/recicla__172196_tcm7-267913.swf

Before you begin the quiz, watch this funky video, and learn the song! The lyrics are below the video.

Three, it's a magic number
Yes it is, it's a magic number
Because two times three is six
Three times six is eighteen
And the eighteenth letter in the alphabet is R
We've got three R's we're going to talk about today
We've got to learn to
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If you're going to the market to buy some juice
You've got to bring your own bags and you learn to reduce your waste
You've got to learn to reduce
And if your brother or your sister's got some cool clothes
You could try them on before you buy some more of those
Reuse, we've got to learn to reuse
And if the first two R's don't work out
And if you've got to make some trash
No, don't throw it out
Recycle, we've got to learn to recycle,
We've got to learn to
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Because three, it's a magic number
Yes it is, it's a magic number
Three, three, three
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36
33, 30, 27, 24, 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, and 3,
It's a magic number

This post is dedicated to all the teachers & students of IES Los Tarahales.

Click on the icon below to begin the quiz. Be patient if it takes a while to load. I'm using a free hosting service, so it isn't exactly fast. Perhaps the Canarian Consejería de Educación will subsidise a paid hosting service for me...hint, hint...

To start the quiz, click on the image below.

Games for Education, 游戏学英语


  1. <span>Thanks for the post, Chiew. It looks great and quite useful. students could try it next Thursday and at the "Red de Escuelas Sostenibles" meeting. Thanks a lot.  </span>

  2.  Glad you liked it, Sole. I had to find new software to be able to get anywhere close to what I wanted.


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