This year’s Trick or Trash™ recycling and education campaign, designed to help reduce the waste that accumulates every year around Halloween, is well underway.

The campaign, now in its third year, provides safe and easy-to-assemble recycling boxes to schools and small businesses, as well as a critical educational component, co-created by Rubicon® and the National Wildlife Federation, that focuses on the role of recycling within the circular economy with K-12 lesson plans, a reading list for university and college students, and a useful factsheet for business participants. Last year, more than 730 schools and small businesses in all 50 U.S. states took part in Trick or Trash, and we are currently on track to more than double that number for 2021!

For this Trick or Trash Spotlight, I spoke with Shakira Provasoli, a K-5 environmental science teacher at Manhattan School for Children in New York City.

What drew you to participate in Trick or Trash?

Manhattan School for Children has always been recycling in new and innovative ways. The pandemic made this a bit more tricky, but I thought I would try out this amazing program from Rubicon again. If all goes well, I will set up our hard-to-recycle bins again for collecting other “nonrecyclables” to recycle them! I want my students to understand that every wrapper has a place it has to go and that there is no “away” when it comes to waste.

What do Manhattan School for Children students enjoy most about Trick or Trash?

Thinking about the candy that was once in those wrappers! The students who promoted the program this year wanted to give out a piece of candy to everyone so they could teach the younger students how to put the wrapper in the bin, but I had to remind them that we are a predominantly healthy school, so the kids would have to envision that part on their own.

How do you teach the Trick or Trash lesson plan in school?

Every 2nd-5th grader has to teach a group of people about sustainability. One pair of 5th-graders wanted to share all about the Trick or Trash box. They are currently creating a presentation, using the information provided in the lesson plan. They will send this out to all the classes in the school, and to the families in the PTA newsletter.

What are the most common questions that you get from students, parents, and other teachers about Trick or Trash?

What do the candy wrappers get recycled back into? Can we put any other type of wrapper in the box? Can we do this year-round?

Finally, what has been the most common candy wrapper in your Trick or Trash box so far?


Katie Kinnear is Director of Engagement Strategy at Rubicon and was the inspiration behind creating the Trick or Trash campaign. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.