Recovery of waste materials is of critical importance for ensuring sustainable development. Technically, recycling refers to the processing of waste materials for reutilization. One effective means for raising the knowledge and awareness of individuals on the subject of recycling is the education provided in schools starting from a young age. The aim of this study was to have science students develop models that can be used for teaching the subject of recovery in middle school science classes in Turkey. The study was conducted with the participation of 51 third-year university students enrolled in the Science Teaching Department. Based on the study results, it was determined that 30 of the models prepared by the science students mainly emphasized the concept of reutilization, while four of the models mainly emphasized recycling. The models developed by the study participants particularly placed emphasis on the recovery of solid wastes. Nearly all of the models included solid wastes such as paper, cardboard, plastics, textile, and metal and glass waste, while none of them referred to or mentioned composite waste. Only four of the models prepared by the study participants included the recycling logo. All of the models gave the message that recycling is "the reutilization of solid materials/wastes for different purposes."