Bexley 6th-grader Alex Tobin spoke plainly.
I just think that a lot of people talk about helping this earth, but not many actually do it, he said. I think this is a good way of actually trying to help.
Tobin is one of several students who are getting involved in recycling through the district’s new partnership with Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.
When I first started working here at Cassingham (Elementary), I noticed that we didn’t have a really comprehensive recycling program, teacher Amy Oswalt said.
Oswalt helps lead the program and was involved in getting it started.
We were all kind of scattered, and nobody knew who was in charge of what, she said.
Last fall, a group of representatives from the schools and community sat down and tried to figure out a better way of doing things.
We needed something that was more cohesive, and we wanted something that was more student-run, Oswalt said.
Scott Logsdon, a biology teacher in the high school who helped put the plan together, said SWACO stepped up and was willing to provide grant money for purchasing recycling bins.
They also offered to haul away the material for free. The total cost of the project was about $15,000, he said.
SWACO provided about $10,000, and different groups in the school, including the high school PTO, the Environmental Club, and the Montrose student council, raised the rest.
Now student volunteers sign up to take a turn gathering plastics, metals and paper from the classrooms and the cafeteria. They use the rolling containers SWACO provided to wheel it all outside. SWACO then hauls it away and sorts it.
Oswalt said half the kids in Cassingham Elementary have volunteered to help out, and take turns skipping recess to do it.
They’re very involved, they really want to do this, she said.
The program is already having an educational effect.
I’ve been telling (my family) all about the recycling stuff, 6th-grade student Chase Roddy said. I decided to have this idea at my house, to have my own little recycling program, so in every room in the house we have a recycling bin.
It’s really neat to see these kids working hard at it, Logsdon said.
Gina Votter and Shelby Young, both seniors, help spearhead the effort in the high school.
Votter said she likes knowing they’re doing as much as they can to help.
And it’s fun when you see other people doing it, too, because you know you’re setting a good example, Young said.