Environmental friends: Fairview School runs successful recycling program

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

COVINGTON -- Students, staff and parents at Fairview Theme School have come together this year to run a successful recycling program.

"The students are very involved in the recycling program," said teacher Laura Dufford, who also leads the school's community service club. "The students take ownership in recycling, as it is a daily way of life within our school community."

Since parents on the school council suggested last year that the school get more involved in recycling, everyone has made an effort to recycle anything they can.

The school's community service club started out recycling paper last year, and the cafeteria staff is in charge of the systemwide Styrofoam tray recycling that started last year, too. The club is made up of about 20 third- and fourth-grade students and meets once a week before school with a few teacher sponsors for about seven weeks.

This year, the school also started recycling aluminum and tin after contacting local recycling centers.

"They even pick it up for us at no charge and still pay us for our items," said Kendra Losch, a parent of a kindergarten student at the school.

The school community also has been recycling plastic, ink cartridges, electronics and other items with help from the cafeteria staff that handles the recycling of foam trays and the community service club that collects paper from each teacher's bin once a week. The entire school works together with the collecting of other items, often bringing items from home.

"Most of the students will recycle materials at home and then bring in garbage bags full of materials," Dufford said. "Because a large portion of the student body is transported by cars to and from school, the parents easily can bring home recyclables and dispose of them at the school for the recycling initiatives to achieve optimum success."

All of the collected items go into the school's recycling center.

"The recycling center is a group of trash cans marked for each product in the parent room (at the school) where kids deposit their items," Losch said. "From there, they are moved to a trailer and collected until LB Recycling picks them up."

So far, the school has recycled 127 pounds of tin and 34 pounds of aluminum. The school also made $140 from ink cartridge recycling this year.

Additionally, the school has recycled more than 13,500 Capri Sun drink pouches so far this school year through the Capri Sun Campaign that Losch started at the school as a way to raise money and get the kids motivated to recycle. TerraCycle, a recycling company based in New Jersey, pays schools .02 cents for each Capri Sun pouch and uses them to make backpacks, pencil bases and totes.

"There is a large plastic bin located in our cafeteria, and the students place their drink pouches from lunch in the bin and they also bring them from home to recycle," Losch said. "The students collect them on weekends during their soccer games or birthday parties, and classrooms recycle the pouches from their parties and snack time. It's been a great way to see the students have a hands-on approach to recycling."

Each Friday, four parent volunteers package all of the pouches and ship them to the New Jersey company for recycling.

"By recycling at school and at home, they are reducing the impact that waste has on the environment," Losch said. "Our hope is that this message stays with the students as they grow older and they share this message with their friends and families who do not recycle to encourage them to start recycling today. It's never too late to start these great habits that will benefit this generation and the next."