Schools generate enormous amounts of paper, aluminum, and plastic waste that often times only makes its way into the garbage bins and landfills. The students at William Daylor Continuation High School decided they wanted to reduce this waste and collect the bottles and cans to raise extra funds for the Green Construction Technology ROP program. For starters, the school already had blue bins for recycling but they were stuffed away in storage. These were cleaned up and delivered to each classroom. Just by recycling the notebook and copy paper, the school reduced its total garbage by about 35%.
The students also realized it that not just the paper was being thrown away, but also the bottles and cans. Signs were made to help direct students to add bottles and cans to the paper waste but the leakage was making things messy. It was time to build some recycling stations. With $330 from Nutrien to buy lumber, bins, screws, and paint, the students built two can and bottle receptacles and placed them in lunch courtyard and a central location by classrooms. The students also built a receptacle to collect cardboard lunch trays, which were being thrown away even if spotless. These trays, collected without food waste or wrappers, are then shredded and spread onto the garden paths to help keep the weeds down or they are added to the outdoor composting pile.
In building and using the new bins, students have become increasingly aware of the amount of garbage that can be recycled and that with a little extra work, we can reduce our school’s impact on the landfills by nearly 50%! We have also raised over $100 by recycling the bottles and cans which will continue for the years ahead. This money goes towards further environmental projects being carried out by the Green Construction class as well as for the organic garden on campus.