Troy gears up for ‘Go Green Week’

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In an effort to raise litter awareness and to teach healthy recycling habits, the City of Troy will be going green.

April 18 – 22 will commemorate “Go Green Week,” and Ashley Smallwood, Special Project Coordinator for Troy, said this will be the fourth year in a row that the city has incorporated the anti-litter campaign throughout local area schools.

“We focus primarily on Elementary School children,” Smallwood said. “We like to take a ‘hands-on’ educational approach to teach about recycling and how the city of Troy can recycle.”

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Smallwood said the idea of “Go Green Week” was inspired by the realization that by educating children to develop healthy recycling habits, then those habits would more than likely rub off on to their parents.

“At City Hall, we have a roll of blue recycling bags and anybody can come in and get one whenever they want,” Smallwood said.

“The influx since we’ve started this program four years ago has made it difficult for us to keep bags in stock down stairs, because there are so many people that know about the recycling program that the city provides.”

According to Smallwood, the schools have added to the number of recycling bags used and the recycling program itself is growing.

“It has kind of opened everybody’s eyes and has made people realize our resources aren’t going to be here forever,” Smallwood said.

“We need to do better at recycling and using what we’ve got. It has been a really good program.”

In preparation for the week-long “green” week, Smallwood said a recycling contest among local area schools for fourth, fifth and sixth-graders is well underway.

“The fourth grade competes among its classrooms and they do an aluminum can recycling contest,” Smallwood said. “The fifth and sixth-graders do a plastics recycling contest.”

Smallwood said the student involvement is encouraging to see and the bags the students use seem to get bigger each year.

The winners of the recycling contests, according to Smallwood, are awarded a pizza party.

“For the younger age groups, kindergarten through the third-grade, the city buys educational coloring books,” Smallwood said.

“And, we give out recycling bags to every child in school even if they’re not in the recycling contest.”

Smallwood said the bags are good for the children in order to help them start somewhere when it comes to recycling.

Smallwood said she hopes to raise litter awareness throughout the area.

“I felt like if we just tried to slowly move the effort all around the city of Troy, then sooner or later we could make this a county-wide campaign,” Smallwood said.

“Hopefully, it’ll become a big deal and I’m real excited for what’s to come.”