Without any doubt, sustainable development is the major challenge we face in the 21st century due to population growth, increased consumption rates, and increased quality of life in the developing countries. The three key axes for addressing sustainable development are: (i) education; (ii) policy; and (iii) technology and innovation. In this presentation, we focus on the first of these axes: education, and specifically a course that has been designed for first year students, which is the ignition point in ones academic journey. The course we designed and have offered since 2009 is the titled: GPS – the Great Problem Seminars (GPS); it is a two-course introduction to university-level research and project work focusing on themes of current global importance. This program was one of three first year programs recently recognized by the National Academy of Engineering as a “Real World” Engineering Education Program. Specifically the course which we will review and discuss in this presentation is titled: Great Problems Seminars - Recycle the World: Recovering Earth's Resources for All Species and for All Time. In the first term, the course addresses the issues regarding the four classes of materials, their life cycle, and specifically production waste and post consumer waste, and methodologies to reduce waste and create value with a circular economy mindset. During the second term, the students are paired up in teams and pursue a specific project. We will review the details of the course and the impact it has had on the students with data on retention, and performance in team projects.