Clean Start

Published 2:20 pm Thursday, September 11, 2008

CHESAPEAKE — If a $35,000 grant comes through later this fall, there should be two special additions to the campuses of Chesapeake schools — all done in an effort to make being green just a little easier.

This year, students at the Chesapeake Middle School have started an on-campus recycling program as part of the school’s Health Club.

With help from the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, there are now a crushing bin for aluminum cans and a co-mingled recyclable tote for paper and certain plastic products such as water bottles at the school.

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If a grant from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund is approved, it will fund two 10-bin recycling trailers — one for the middle and high schools and one for the elementary school.

It’s all a part of the Solid Waste Management District’s education program with the goal of teaching students the long-term value of recycling.

“Our goal is for the schools to recycle all paper and plastics No. 1 and 2, aluminum and steel food cans, as well as cardboard,” Stephanie Helms, education specialist for the district, said.

Solid Waste will provide one crusher bin and one tote for each school in the county upon request. Certain recyclable items such as the cans can be turned into money for schools when they’re turned into specific centers.

Currently, Dawson-Bryant High School, Rock Hill Middle School, St. Lawrence Elementary, St. Joseph High School, and Symmes Valley high and elementary schools also have school-based recycling programs.

“The whole goal is not to raise money for the school, but to teach kids to be environmentally responsible and make the right decisions,” Helms said. “For it to be a way of life when they are adults, it will be second-hand nature.”

Already the students have responded to the recycling program enthusiastically, says Cecili Nida, Chesapeake Middle School health and physical education teacher. Nida is also sponsor of the Health Club.

That includes a special team of Health Club members who are responsible for the grounds of the two-school campus going out once or twice a week to do clean-up duty.

“It is going well so far,” Nida said. “We’ve been advertising on the school channel, a couple of commercials with the students demonstrating the can crusher. They are absolutely enjoying it.”