Partners boost recycling through schools

Published 9:09 pm Monday, November 1, 2010

When it comes to saving the planet, the best habits start early.

The Troy Board of Education, Troy Public Works and KW Plastics are partnering to put recycling bins in schools around the city this week.

On Monday, public works representative Vaughn Daniels and Stephanie Baker from KW Plastics Recycling presented the bins to David Helms, the directions operator of Troy City Schools as part of a citywide campaign to get kids interested in recycling.

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Starting today, a bumper crop of bright green cardboard bins will be popping up at Charles Henderson High School and Middle School, Troy Elementary School, the Early Childhood Center, the Troy-Pike Center for Technology and Pike Liberal Arts School.

In addition to the bins, the recycling center will also provide blue recycling bags in the school offices for kids to take home to their parents. That way, families can dump their papers, bottles, plastics and cans and put them out with the regular garbage. Not only does the plan help the environment, it also saves the city money.

“I think we’ll all be surprised how much waste will be able to divert,” Baker said.

All of the products each family recycles are redeemable by the city. Every bit of plastic and paper has a cash value, and that cash adds up and goes back into local projects.

“Well obviously, the more you recycle, the less you have to purchase,” Helms said.

An added bonus: Children will be able to teach their families about recycling.

“Maybe once we get the kids trained at recycling, they’ll get the parents to recycle.”

And it’s remarkably easy, Baker said, although many people in Troy just don’t know how to get started. Once they do, though, the benefits may stack up quickly.

“I have more recycling bags than I have trash bags on my curb,” she said.

It’s also a timely start. Nov. 15 is “America Recycles” Day.

And after today, all the election notices and candidate signs, flyers and posters can also go in the blue bags. This will be the first time that city-wide campaign poster recycling will be promoted in Troy, Baker said.

KW Plastics Recycling is giving out 35 green bins among the six schools. Blue bags are currently available at the Troy Public Library, the Colley Senior Complex, the Troy Recreational Center and City Hall, in addition to the bags available for students at each school.

Ultimately, the biggest goal is to get local kids interested in recycling, Helms said. If the project happens to be the spark that lights the whole city, so much the better.

“This will hopefully stimulate the kids to be lifelong recyclers,” he said.