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One person’s rubbish is another person’s landmark

Turn your recycling into a famous landmark from another country, then discover what life is like there.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Clean items of recycling
  • Sticky tape
  • Masking tape
  • Sticky tack
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Free brochures from a travel agent (or images of landmarks)
A line drawing of a bin full of recyclable materials that are stacked together to create an Eiffel Tower model.

Before you begin 

  • This is a great activity to run during an online session. Check out the advice on using Zoom and other popular digital platforms and the guidance on being safe online.
  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting. If you’re doing this activity face-to-face, you’ll also need a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here
  • However you do the activity, everyone will need their own recycling, sticky tape, scissors, and scrap paper. Give people plenty of notice so they have time to collect the recycling. 
  • It’s also useful to have a book or brochure with facts in, as well as some pictures of landmarks for inspiration. People could do some research before the session.

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity.  Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Make sure that everyone knows the plan for dropping young people off (and picking them up again).
  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session. Everyone should wash their hands before and after they use equipment.
  • Make sure you have enough scissors and sticky tape so no one has to share. 
  • Make sure everyone’s recycling stays separate – people shouldn’t swap or share items. 

Build your landmarks online

  1. Everyone except the person leading the activity should mute themselves.
  2. Everyone should show their friends their pile of clean recycling and any brochures, books, or pictures they have. 
  3. Everyone should choose a landmark from another country – it could be another country inside the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland), or a country outside of the UK. 
  4. When the person leading the activity says ‘go’, everyone should use the recycling, sticky tape (and other resources), and scissors to recreate their landmark. 
  5. Once everyone’s finished their landmark, they should take some sticky notes or scraps of paper and write some facts about their chosen country’s currency, language, national dress, culture, and customs. They should stick these facts to their model. 
  6. Everyone should take it in turns to show their finished model off on camera. Everyone else should guess the landmark the model’s based on and the country it represents. 
  1. Once everyone’s guessed, people should break down their models and remove the sticky tape, so that the items can be recycled. 


This activity reminded everyone that they’re a local, national, and international citizen. What did people find out about the world? What would they ask someone from their chosen country? Maybe they’d like to know what a certain food tastes like, what the weather’s like right now, or what their school is like. Was anyone surprised by anything they found out? Are there similarities between life in people’s chosen countries and life in their own country? Do people think it’d be easier to work together with someone from their chosen country now that they know a bit more about it? People could think about how it may be easier to understand them, what they do, and what they believe.


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.

Glue and solvents

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.