Students at 100 Mile Elementary know the value of recycling.
Last year, they bought crazy carpets with the money they collected from hard plastics like juice boxes. This year, Margot Shaw’s Grade 5-6 class is going on a field trip to Lake of the Trees with the Grade 3-4 class.
But it’s not just about the cold hard cash, they say.
“It’s a good thing because it helps the environment,” said Jackson Black, a student in Shaw’s class. “It creates less waste by reusing the materials.”
The school has been recycling for years, carrying on the legacy of former teacher Jim Price.
Teacher Ken Lepage’s Grade 4-5 class collects the school’s soft plastics every week, while Shaw’s class is responsible for gathering and sorting hard plastics. Shaw said her class benefits the most because they do the lion’s share of sorting the valuable recyclables. Every two weeks, they collect the items and sort through them, said Pawan Nijjar.
It’s a messy job, especially when people throw in cheese and pepperoni, she said, but someone’s gotta do it.
“It’s very gross and disgusting,” said Sonny Reid, who blamed the younger children for not properly recycling. ‘The Grade 1s are just messy humans.”
Shaw agreed “it is very stinky” but said the program has created more environmental awareness among the students. Just recently, Mary Forbes, of Williams Lake’s Potato House, was in to teach children about recycling bicycles. She has also talked to them about recycling clothing by wearing mismatched mittens and socks.
In LePage’s 4/5 class, Samara Mitchell was surprised to see how many soft plastics were being collected.
“I was surprised at how many people recycled,” Samara said as she emptied the recycling bins with Carter Hain and Olivia Gobin.
Shaw said the effort is catching on.
“At every grade level there’s an awareness of the environment and the effect of garbage on the environment,” she said. “This is just a little piece of the overall picture.”