In 2017, CSWD organized the first annual Recycle Rally, a friendly inter-school competition that empowers students, raises awareness about resource recovery and conservation, and unites school communities around a common goal: Recycle right!
This year, seven schools signed up to see who would become the Recycle Rally Rockstars of Chittenden County.
Results from the pack
Even schools that didn’t perform as well as they had hoped were able to identify some areas needing attention. These schools and have since added signs throughout the school to guide students and staff on what goes in which bin.
One school forgot to collect the data needed to be included in the Rally, but did report that they saw a huge reduction in their trash stream when they paid closer attention to what they were putting in the recycle and compost bins.
Runner Up: Brewster Pierce
Brewster Pierce Memorial School (BPMS) may be small, but their sustainable practices have a huge impact. These include a paper recovery program where one-sided paper is placed in a bin to be used again before recycling.
BPMS is the only public school that serves milk from a dispenser instead of cartons—which not only reduces what they spend–and waste–in milk purchases, it also saves money by reducing the amount of trash they create (a costly stream to dispose of).
They also hold Zero Waste Days once per month and collect batteries, both in-school and from the community, for recycling. Keep up the masterful work, Brewster Pierce…maybe next year YOUR name will be on the trophy!
First Place: Sustainability Academy
Though Brewster Pierce and the Sustainability Academy (SA) both earned the title of Recycling Rock Stars by accruing 90-110 points thanks to their ‘beyond recycling’ attitudes, SA eked out a hard-fought win overall.
Snapshot of recycling and reuse initiatives at SA:
- Classes take a “snack-count” daily, and then take only what is needed from the supply, instead of one of each for every student whether they want one or not. This practice not only saves food from being wasted, it also saves the café staff time and money!
- SA recently eliminated Styrofoam bowls from lunch service, purchasing durable bowls instead. This initiative—funded in part by CSWD—saves manufacturing impacts, transportation of disposables, AND landfill space.
- Ms. Seitz’s second- and third-graders, “The Plastic Pollution Preventers”, oversee educating, monitoring, and measuring plastic film–bags and over-wraps–the Sustainability Academy collects for recycling through the Trex recycling program (not in the blue bin).
- The Green Team keeps everyone at SA in the loop by making announcements both over the loud speaker and during Morning Meetings. They truly are practitioners of the 3 R’s and are quite an asset to their community.
High fives go out to Mason, Rory, Rowan, Penelope, Grace, Lily (with a few special appearances by Ryland, Bibek, and Hawa) and, of course, Mrs. Suzanne Weishaar, “Chief of All Things Sustainable.”
Overall, the first annual Recycle Rally was a huge hit! Look for it next school year so you can try to win the Rally Trophy for display in your own school!