The Chesterfield Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) recently presented fifth grade students at Ruby Elementary School (RES) with custom made “Green Team” t-shirts in recognition of their hard work.
The students are part of the “Green Team” spearheading a school-wide recycling effort led by fifth grade teacher Natalie Douglas.
“Our fifth graders are the real workers on this project,” said Douglas “To date, we’ve collected nearly 2,000 pounds of recyclables, which is pretty impressive for a school the size of Ruby.”
Douglas explained that the majority of the plastic, paper and cans which has been collected comes solely from the school, not from home or businesses collections. The exception is the “Trex” challenge in which plastic bags or overwraps (think the plastic wrap on things like newspapers, bubble wrap, paper towels or toilet paper bundles) are being collected in several places around town, including the Piggly Wiggly in Chesterfield. The makers of the alternative wood product “Trex” sponsor participating communities with collection bins and promotional materials, and provide any school collecting 500 pounds of plastic with a Trex bench.
As one student explained their roles, “each week we weigh all the recyclables, and post our progress on a school bulletin board. It’s cool to see other classes checking our totals!”
The SWCD wanted to recognize the efforts made by the students, and partnered with Chesterfield’s Sign Press printing and graphics to create the shirts which have the front of the school with the words “Green Team” and “RES reduces, reuses and recycles”.
At Christmas, all RES students received a refillable water bottle with the same slogan, and over the holiday break, a water bottle “refill” station was installed which tracks the number of water bottles saved by “refilling” at the fountain. In a month, students have saved over 250 bottles from the landfill.
Ruby Elementary is the only school in Chesterfield School District with a school-wide program and the only one with a bottle refill station installed. Also that Rose Gainey of Chesterfield County’s Recycling Coordinator supplied the large collection bins used in the classrooms, and the Town of Chesterfield is loaning the school the five roll carts used to store and transport the collected items to the Convenience Center weekly.
Roger Smith, Chesterfield SWCD Chairman said he is proud of the students for working on a project that can impact our natural resources and challenged them to continue their hard work. “Our natural resources will benefit in many ways from your efforts, and I challenge you to double the amount you’ve collected!”
For more information on the project, please contact Douglas by phone 843-634-6310 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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