I constantly am amazed at the creative ways to recycle and reduce waste that increasingly are available, particularly in our schools. A number of our schools have recycling programs and even more are setting them up this year.
I’d like to highlight a couple of them and also share some programs out there for schools that recycle.
Even if you do not have kids, there probably is a school near you that would appreciate your help in collection efforts. It can be a wonderful — and free — way to give back to your community.
Midway Middle School has had a strong recycling program for years. It even placed nationally in past recycling competitions.
The school recycles the usual stuff, like plastics, aluminum, paper, etc. But through the leadership and energy of teacher Joy Kennedy, the school has expanded its recycling efforts to include a whole host of items. Midway Middle School is reaping some benefits for doing so, too.
The school also recycles the following items:
• Malt-O-Meal cereal bags
• Huggies brand plastic wrapping
• Scott brand packaging for paper products
• Rinsed spread containers with lids for butter, margarine and cream cheese
• Frito-Lay chip bags
• Mars, Wrigley and Cadbury candy products packaging
• Keebler and Nabisco products cookie packaging
• All brands of drink pouches — just remove straws
• Nonworking pens, markers and mechanical pencils
• Plastic tape dispensers and cores
• Elmer’s Glue containers — bottles and glue sticks
• Solo Cups packaging
• Personal care and beauty products
• Makeup containers — lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, nail polish, remover
• Hair product containers — shampoo, conditioner, gel
• Soap dispensers, lotion bottles
• Yogurt containers — rinsed
• Any stackable containers and lids — rinsed
• All Kashi product packaging
• Energy bar packaging
• Colgate products — toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes and dental floss
• Lunchables kits — meals and packaging
• Kraft, Philadelphia, Breakstone wrappers and tubs for cheese products
• Tortillas and Tostitos bag packaging
• Cambell’s product labels
• Box Tops for Education
Wow! The exciting part is that the school ships these items for recycling and receives points for supplies or funding from companies like TerraCycle. The school recently received $118 for a shipment of items.
Button Gwinnett has committed its school to waste-reduction projects, like monthly paperless day. The whole school commits to classroom activities that require zero paper use. What a great teaching experience!
Many of our schools recycle. Check with the school near you to see if it has special collections that you could support.
Here are a couple of new recycling opportunities for local schools:
• Recycle-Bowl: Registration now is open for Recycle-Bowl, the first comprehensive nationwide recycling competition for elementary, middle and high school students.
Recycle-Bowl was created to provide students with a fun, interactive way to learn about waste reduction and environmental responsibility through in-school recycling.
Open to all U.S. schools and classrooms, the incentive-based recycling competition and benchmarking program kicks off in October. Registration is open at the Recycle-Bowl website. The competition runs from Oct. 17-Nov. 12.
Participating schools will track and report how much recyclable material they collect for a chance to win prizes. At the close of the four-week competition, the school in each state that collects the most recyclable material per capita will win $1,000. There also are second- and third-place prizes.
A national champion will be chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize of $2,500.
For more information, go to www.recycle-bowl.org.
• Dream Machine: Schools participating in the Dream Machine Recycle Rally earn points for every nonalcoholic aluminum can or plastic bottle collected through the program year-round.
Schools can redeem those points with local businesses and major retailers for rewards, such as sporting goods, electronics, gift cards, educational events, music, books and videos.
During the contest period, which runs through April 30, participating schools also may be eligible to win one of more than 75 contest prizes, such as the $50,000 Dream Green School Makeover grand prize.
For complete contest rules, go to www.dreammachinerecyclerally.com/about-rally/rules.html.
There are endless options for recycling and, evidently, lots of ways to have fun at the same time. Contact your local school and see how you can support them.
Upcoming KLB activities
• Win-dex Award nominations for attractive business of the quarter: We are accepting nominations through Sept. 30. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 880-4888.
• Annual St Catherines Beach Cleanup: Boaters and volunteers needed for the Sept. 24 event. There are limited volunteer slots, so register soon. For information, call 880-4888 or email email@example.com.