Information for Teachers

Recycle City was designed with the classroom in mind. All of the games and locations have been designed to make it easy for a teacher to set different goals that can match up with lessons being taught in class. You can also check out "Things To Do In Recycle City" for some more ideas.

Image of text - ActivitiesHere are some ideas on how you can use Recycle City in your classroom:

Scavenger hunts | Dumptown Game | Sample Goals

Scavenger Hunts

You can organize students into teams for scavenger hunts through Recycle City. This works especially well if there are fewer computers than there are students. Each team works together to find all the items in a list before the other teams do. Before beginning the assignment, create a list of items that need to be found, for example:


  • Something made from recycled tires
  • A way to use vinegar
  • A use for old bricks
  • Something made from old milk containers
  • An electric car
  • How coffee grounds can be reused

Your list of course, can be customized to emphasize reuse, recycling, or any other topic that you are exploring in class.

Image of a playground scene

Split up the class into several teams and let them go through the site, looking for the items on the list. This will provide them with some incentive to browse around the site looking for items, and will spark team discussions on where the items might be found.

Afterwards, have a discussion with the class as a whole. Encourage students not only to talk about what they did find, but also about anything that they went looking for and didn't find...this can lead to interesting discussions. After the discussion, encourage students to write to us with any suggestions they have at

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Image of a buldozer in action.

The Clean Up Dumptown Game

Clean Up Dumptown is designed to be extremely flexible. In fact, there are no goals or winning conditions built into the game at all! This was done so that you can assign goals to underscore particular topics and integrate into classroom curriculum.

Goals can include reducing the amount of a particular kind of waste going into the landfill by a particular amount, or by as much as possible. You can add budget caps, or restrict the programs that can be used.

You can also set research goals - determining the impact of composting on the waste stream, for example.

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Sample Goals

Image of a buldozer in action.
  • Reduce the amount of paper going into the landfill as much as possible, and spend as little money as possible.
  • Remove as much organic waste from the waste stream as you can.
  • Set an overall spending limit ($200,000, for example) and find out which combination of programs within your budget achieves the most waste reduction.
  • How much waste can be removed from the waste stream using programs that have no cost to the city?
  • What is the optimum combination of programs for the city? (This is a hard one, and it may take up to an hour to try all the programs and determine the cost/benefit of them all.)

This should give you some ideas. If you come up with any other exercises, please send email to, and we will add them to the list!

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