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Rock Hill schools begins district-wide recycling

ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP — Quick questions: If each of the roughly 62,500 people who call Lawrence County home recycled one aluminum can every day for a year, how many cans would be saved from the landfill?

That was the question Rumpke senior communications coordinator Jonathan Kissell asked Rock Hill Middle School students Tuesday morning during an assembly on recycling.

The answer was 670,956 cans — and at 60 cents a pound, amounts to $402, 574.

Kissell came armed with a lot of figures to show why recycling makes both economic and environmental sense.

School officials are already sold on the idea. Rock Hill is now the first district in Lawrence County to institute a district-wide recycling plan.

Rock Hill Middle School Assistant Principal Jerry Evans said the idea began with some persistent high school students who, noticing the refuse that collects regularly along County Road 26 in front of the high school, suggested a recycling program to school officials, who called Rumpke.

“This is absolutely going to be great,” Evans said. “This is a win-win for everyone.”

The district will now collect its used paper, steel and aluminum cans and plastic drink containers each day and store them in large blue containers outside.

Rumpke will haul the recyclable materials away and give the district a discount on its refuse bill.

At assemblies at each Rock Hill school Tuesday, Kissell encouraged the students not to stop their recycling when they leave school, but to continue the effort at home.

Eighth grader Cassie Christian said she learned from the assembly, “That it’s important to recycle. It saves energy and helps the environment.”

Stephanie Helms, education coordinator for the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, said she is pleased Rock Hill is taking such a bold step on a troubling environmental issue. She hopes other districts follow suit.

“Other districts have had one or two schools do this but I think when they see what can be done (district- wide) they will do it too,” she said.