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Reducing and Removing Litter at School

Student standing beside waste bin
Gwendolyn Jones, a senior at Spencer Center for Gifted and Exceptional Students, noticed that there was lots of trash around her school campus and wanted to do something about it. She decided to conduct a project in which she reduced and removed litter at her school through clean up events and strategic placement of waste receptacles.

Gwen organized events to clean waste outside, around the school’s campus in order to accomplish her goal. She has already planned and hosted two events since the start of this project. These events will continue after she graduates, with the help of the faculty and utilizing the time already put aside for advisory. Additionally, Gwen had a recycling bin and trash bin installed in a high traffic area to hopefully reduce the litter left on the ground in the first place. She has partnered with the school custodial staff and the recycling club to maintain these two bins throughout the school year. The trash and recycling bins are being regularly used by students each day. Students and staff have already commented on the improvement in litter reduction around the school campus. Gwen hopes that this will inspire them to help maintain it. She also hopes that it will influence their actions in their own neighborhoods, furthering her impact.

This project benefits the local aquatic ecosystem by reducing the amount of potentially harmful litter that reaches waterways via storm drains. Because of that impact, this project aligns with SDG 14, which aims to protect life below the water. Gwen learned from this project that everybody can have a positive impact on their environment and hopes that she has inspired others to take their own environmental actions and further protect the watershed.