Rabun County Schools, GA Recycling Program

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Rabun County Schools, GA, US

Type: Program

Status: Ongoing

Source File: http://www.rabun.k12.ga.us/

Description:

Students from the Rabun County School System are setting an example through their environmental responsibility.

In cooperation with the Boggs Mountain recycling center, students from all five county schools are reducing waste by recycling mixed paper, plastic bottles, cardboard and metal cans.

In addition to contributing to the welfare of Rabun County, students are learning the value of environmental stewardship.

"You're helping the environment if you recycle the school's paper, and you are able to use it again," said sophomore Jessica Johnson, captain of the Rabun County High School recycling team.

While practicing environmental accountability, students are learning about its economic benefits.

“By recycling, we help raise money for the schools and the county,” said seventh-grader Logan Finley.

As part of the project, discarded plastic bottles, mixed paper and metal cans are deposited in cardboard boxes throughout the week. A group of students then collects them and takes them to a central location.

On Monday mornings, employees from the Boggs Mountain recycling center pick up the boxes and take them to the recycling site.

"Anything that is recyclable in the building is going to a recycling center, rather than going to a landfill," said Linda Marziliano, Rabun County Schools nutrition director.

Rabun County recycling director Tim Browning has a slogan for this process.

"You need to get it from the inside to the outside," he said. He said the hard part was collecting all the recycling boxes from the school.

"That's us," Browning said. "After it gets to the outside of the school, then it's here."

The program got its start in November when Marziliano saw how much excess garbage the school cafeterias were producing. She said it made her think about recycling.

After approaching Superintendent Matt Arthur with her concern, Marziliano was chosen to spearhead the recycling project.

A committee made up of Marziliano and a representative from each of the county's five schools was formed.

While working on the proposed project, the committee consulted Browning. Browning informed them of April Jones, a science educator at Rabun County High School who was recycling mixed paper and plastic bottles on a limited scale.

"It started with teaching environmental science, and part of it is recycling," Jones said. "So, we got started recycling paper and plastic bottles."

In addition to Jones, Rabun County Elementary School special education teacher Malivia Swanson and her students had been sending their recycled paper to the Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter the past four years.

"They need it for the dogs and cats for new beds," said Jordan, a special education student at RCES.

Marziliano saw this as a foundation for the project.

“I said, let's just build on what they have already started,” Marziliano said.

The committee developed a plan of action for all the county schools.

"We were very excited when the county schools decided to make this a system-wide project," Swanson said.

The first recycling pick up took place Jan. 28. Since then, Marziliano said the schools, including the system's administrative offices, have been responsible for recycling 22,680 pounds of materials.

"That's probably in the neighborhood of $2,000 of revenue going into the county," Browning said.

Currently, Marziliano and Browning are working on a plan that would increase the amount of recyclable materials collected at the schools.

The next step is to have a large recycling bin at every public school in the county.

“If we had a big recycling bin that we could pick up everyday, that would decrease our workload and increase the amount of recycling,” Browning said.

Story from http://www.theclaytontribune.com/.

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