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Ironton High School to start recycling program

Although the school colors are orange and black, Ironton High School students and staff will soon have the opportunity to “Go Green.”

The school, led by the science department, is teaming up with Rumpke to implement a recycling program in the school classrooms.

Kimberly Kelly, a science teacher who is helping get the program started, said the aim is to get students in the habit of recycling.

“It’s a good habit to get into,” Kelly said. “I think our students, if you give them to opportunity to do the right thing, then they will do the right thing.”

The teachers are aiming for a Feb. 1 start date for the program, in which Rumpke will haul the materials away, separate and recycle them for a cost of $65 a month.

But the school will not have to worry about the fee for the first few months. Board of Education member Jay Zornes is footing the bill for the program until the end of the school year.

“I just thought it was something our kids ought to start,” Zornes said.

Zornes got the idea to sponsor the program while visiting friends in Wisconsin who are required by their city to recycle. When he found out that the school was attempting a recycling program, he wanted to help.

“I would like to see it implemented district-wide,” he said. “I think Ironton could be a leader in the Tri-State as far as recycling goes.”

Next year, the program will be supported by school clubs and also out of the teachers’ pockets.

In fact, an original plan was to have the teachers each pay a small amount each month for the program.

Science teacher Kurt Geveke said most of the teachers were very supportive even though it would cost them something.

“The best part of it is the teachers, almost all the teachers want to pay for it,” Geveke said.

Many of the teachers were already recycling in the their classrooms, collecting items and driving it themselves to a facility. Those teachers were grateful that they would not have to haul the recyclables anymore.

“Everyone really wanted to do it,” Geveke said. “Some people asked questions but most people just said yes.”

Assistant principal Jeff Hairston said the school is appreciative of the community providing a new school.

As such the administration did not want to ask for more funds from the community to start the recycling program.

“The school board and administration are very appreciative of the new facility and if this is a little way that we can give back –— I like the thought of doing that,” Hairston said.

Superintendent Dean Nance said the board and administration is interested in doing their part to preserve the planet for future generation.

“We’ve participated in smaller independent projects over the years, but never a plan this structured with sustainability,” Nance said. “It’s absolutely great to have student, teacher and community support for this worthy cause.”