12 Free Online Recycling Courses

Do you want to enhance your knowledge of recycling?

Are you eager to join the earth minders to preserve the Earth through recycling?

If any of this describes you currently, you are on the right page. I have put together free online recycling courses that will help you achieve your goal without hassles.

With these free online recycling courses, you have verse knowledge on how to reuse or refurbish waste regulating greenhouse release in the process for the preservation of human health and Biodiversity. Some businesses run on only recycled produce.

Ready for an awakening? Come along!

Why is Recycling Important?

Some of the importance of recycling are:

  • Recycling reduces waste sent to landfills and incinerators.
  • Recycling prevents pollution.
  • Recycling conserves natural resources.
  • Recycling conserves energy.
  • Recycling prevents diseases that come from environmental pollution.
  • Recycling creates jobs, producing economic benefits.

Free Online Recycling Courses

Below are my recommended free online recycling courses to help you make your journey easy:

  • Advanced Diploma in Wastewater Treatment and Recycling
  • E-Waste and Battery Recycling: Technology, Design, and Challenges
  • Waste Management and Critical Raw Materials
  • Certified Professional Recycling Course
  • Upcycling and the Circular Economy: Ghanaian Creative Solutions to Global Textile Waste
  • Wastewater Treatment And Recycling
  • Designing Electronics for Recycling in a Circular Economy

1. Advanced Diploma in Wastewater Treatment and Recycling

Offered by Alison

In this video-based course, you will learn how wastewater can be treated and recycled using different techniques. This free online course examines water treatment technologies, principles, theories, and their application in about 20-30 hours(12 modules).

Topics include the study of pollutants (natural and unnatural) and specific treatment units and challenges associated with wastewater recycling. Also included in this course are the results of applications of processes and their results – why some cities failed to achieve quality water in their wastewater recycling projects.

Finally, you will analyze various recycling techniques and the regulatory requirements.

This course will be of interest to those studying engineering or environmental-related subjects, as well as those working in government and service industries.

To successfully complete this CPD accreditated Diploma course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% success or higher in each assessment.

What You Will Learn In This Free Course

  • Recognize the value of wastewater as a resource
  • Wastewater treatment units, treatment systems, and processes, reuse criteria, and recycling.
  • Summarise the causes of wastewater generation
  • Evaluate technologies for wastewater treatment
  • Explain the main approaches and techniques for wastewater treatment
  • Discuss issues and challenges in wastewater treatment and recycling

2. E-Waste and Battery Recycling: Technology, Design, and Challenges

Offered by the European University of Innovation and Technology et al.

This is the second on the list of free online recycling courses.

Phones are an example of electronic devices with a short lifespan that need to be recovered through recycling, which can be costly in terms of energy and emissions.

This four-week course introduces every element of WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) recycling, from recycling lithium batteries to recovering plastics and trace metals.

This course has two sections. The basic principles of mobile phone recycling and the managerial aspects of recycling and eco-design.

In the first section of this course, you’ll discover the engineering aspects involved in mobile phone recycling (the mix and composition of materials) and the various possible recycling method (dismantling, sorting, and element separation).

This comes with a revelation of their associated risks and safety issues.

Finally, in the second section of this course, you’ll focus on mobile phone recycling strategies, and how to incorporate eco-design principles for sustainable environmental designs, intelligently achieving the prime goal of less waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).


  • WEEE and their chemical content
  • Industrial recycling and thermal methods of recycling
  • Hydrometallurgy: how to recover materials from waste
  • Emergent recycling methods

3. Waste Management and Critical Raw Materials

Offered by the Delft University of Technology.

Free Online Recycling Courses

A considerable percentage of the materials found in everyday products are now referred to as “critical”. This means that there is a risk of failure in their supply.

Many metals, for instance, are currently critical or could become critical in the near future due to their limited availability and the growing demand for products worldwide. Some examples are gallium, beryllium, and germanium.

Thus, intelligent and innovative product design and recycling are needed to deal with the raw materials shortage. This course is an attempt to improve the world’s performance of regulating and reusing all metals for as long as possible.

Scarcity in the supply chain can negatively impact the environment. For this reason, the course will also discuss environmental issues and electric and electronic waste regulations.

This course will be useful to as many that are interested to know more about waste management professionals that are already in the field.


  • Week 1: Urgency and challenges with critical raw materials (CRMs) and waste. How can we find out what CRMs are in products, and how can we get them back?
  • Week 2: Different collection systems for recycling and remanufacturing/refurbishment, recycling psychology, and the separate waste collection of commercial and household waste.
  • Week 3: Recycling technology: pre-processing, metallurgy and its challenges. Recycling economics.
  • Week 4: Remanufacturing and refurbishment systems: the return of product (reverse logistics), disassembly and repair of the product, market demand, and economics.
  • Week 5: Product design using better recycling or remanufacturing and refurbishment. Substitution of materials.
  • Week 6: New business models to generate profits from products that last longer. Circular procurement for government and companies.

4. Certified Professional Recycling Course

Offered by Pennsylvania State University – Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP)

This Certified Recycling Professional (CRP) program is a nationally recognized series of courses administered by the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania. A Certificate of Completion is issued by the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) for each course.

Pennsylvania’s Certified Recycling Professional program is accredited by the National Standards Certification Board (NSCB).

This course provides practical, hands-on information for recycling officials, purchasing officials, and agencies on buying and using recycled products.

SCRP candidates must meet all of the following criteria

  • Be a current CRP for a minimum of one year
  • Have a minimum of four years’ work experience in recycling or a recycling-related field
  • Hold at least one PROP Specialization Certificate
  • Submit a research paper, report, publication, or other written work that exhibits research or survey work beyond minimal job requirements
  • Provide documentation for a total of ten (10) points from work experience and /
  • or education in recycling or a recycling-related field

5. Upcycling and the Circular Economy: Ghanaian Creative Solutions to Global Textile Waste

Offered by Hopenclass and Revival.

THE REVIVAL is a collective of Ghanaian creatives who use artistic ingenuity to resolve textile waste challenges in their community. They are the co-initiator of this course.

On this two-week course, you’ll explore the activity of THE REVIVAL and use this as inspiration to create your own localized solutions or solutions in your own community.

In the UK alone, over a million tonnes of clothing in this fast fashion economy ends up as waste. You’ll discover the global impact of fast fashion.

You’ll examine the following

  • What happens to waste textiles (usually incinerated or thrown in landfills)
  • How a circular economy can transform fashion waste by generating jobs at the same time minimizing the environmental impact of this industry.
  • Using real-world case studies to contextualize your learning, you’ll be able to develop your own approach to conscious fashion and take responsibility for your fashion choices.
  • You’ll learn practical tips for upcycling, and discover how community-level actions impact global fashion consumption.
  • Sharing your ideas, you’ll engage with other learners, developing upcycling ideas and projects with an ethical purpose.

By the end of this course, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skill to develop a community of changemakers and fashion upcycles.

This course is designed for creatives in the fashion industry and environmental activists. Among these free online recycling courses, this is one of the most practical and engaging. This is my favorite course among all the free online recycling courses that I listed.


  • Who is a circular economy for?
    • What is a circular economy for?
    • Where do your clothes go? Introducing Ghana’s textile waste problem
    • Recognize the relevance of the Ghanaian perspective in the debate on the circular economy
    • Introduction to upcycling culture: local solutions for global problems
  • Upcycling for Transformation
    • Introducing upcycling culture with THE REVIVAL
    • How to design fashion that can make a difference
    • How to Become a fashion researcher in your community
    • What does it mean to build a legacy?

6. Wastewater Treatment And Recycling

Offered by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and NPTEL

This 12-week long course has an emphasis on Integrated Solid Waste Management aspects within the broad subject area of Integrated Waste Management for a Smart City. The issues of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management, Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste, and Electronic Waste Management are all covered in this course.

There is also an overview of the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste and Electronic Waste (E-Waste) management issues in India in general and for the smart cities in particular. The new national rules with respect to C&D Waste and E-Waste Management will be covered. The challenges of managing these waste streams effectively will be discussed.


Each syllabus is for a week.

  •  Introduction to wastewater
  • Wastewater Generation and Characteristics
  • Natural Attenuation of Pollutants in Wastewater: Concept of natural attenuation
  • Treatment Philosophy: Objectives of wastewater treatment
  •  Preliminary and Primary Treatment Processes
  • Secondary Treatment Processes: Biological treatment of wastewater
  • Secondary Treatment Processes – Anaerobic: Anaerobic treatment
  • Sludge Management
  • Tertiary (Advanced) Treatment Processes
  • Current Treatment Approaches: Conventional systems
  •  Wastewater Recycling: Scope and Demands
  • Technology Selection and Decision Making

7. Designing Electronics for Recycling in a Circular Economy

Offered by Delft University of Technology

This is the 7th on my list of free online recycling courses.

This Free CourseThis 4-week long course supports designers, engineers, and decision-makers in the Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) industry in making the transition towards a circular economy by exploring both Designs for Recycling and Designing with Recycled Plastics. 

You will:

  • learn how the recyclability of EEE products can be optimized through good design and how to utilize recycled plastic content in existing or new products using new methods.
  • examine inspiring examples and provide insight into current and future recycling technologies, legislation, and business models.
  • see a virtual visit to a waste treatment facility and contributions from industry experts across the electronics supply chain showing the impact of design and material choices on the recycling and recovery process of the materials you use.
  • see how concrete Design for Recycling guidelines help overcome these issues.


Module 1: DfR at a systems level
  • Introduction to circular design strategies.
  • Introduction to design for recycling.
  • Introduction to designing with recycled plastics.
  • The recycling process on a systems level.
Module 2: DfR at the product level
  • EEE recycling processes.
  • Barriers to EEE recycling.
  • Design for recycling of EEE.
  • Case studies.
Module 3: DfR at the material level
  • Plastic recycling processes.
  • Barriers to plastics recycling.
  • Designing with recycled plastics.
  • Case studies.
Module 4: Futureproof DfR
  • Improving WEEE collection and recycling through alternative business models and user engagement (e.g. ownership models that enable closed-loop recycling and updates to the EU’s EcoDesign Directive).
  • Future technological developments in recycling (e.g. new sorting technologies and chemical recycling).
  • Consequences for design.


In this article, we have successfully covered the 7 free online recycling courses. This article will erase the hassle in your learning and help you to enroll in any of the courses on our list and start learning immediately.

Free recycling courses with certificate

  1. Advanced Diploma in Wastewater Treatment and Recycling
  2. Certified Professional Recycling Course
  3. Designing Electronics for Recycling in a Circular Economy
  4. Waste management and critical raw material
  5. E-Waste and Battery Recycling: Technology, Design, and Challenges


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