“Basically [Keep Bartow Beautiful has] a competition among the schools and we’ve won it the past [three] years for the middle and high schools [division],” Assistant Principal Gregg Hedden said. “What they do is they weigh the containers every time they pick them up and take them to the recycling place.”
Sheri Henshaw of the Bartow Office of Community Development has been working with the volunteer-based school recycling program since 2000. While the total number of pounds collected this past year at each school are not available at this time, last year the school collected 33,600 pounds of recyclable material.
“The winners are based on pounds per student,” Henshaw said.
Bins are placed throughout the school and it’s up to the students, along with the custodial staff, to make sure recyclables are in their proper containers and bins are emptied.
“Students work with [the recycling program] on a daily basis,” Hedden said. “We have a recycling team on each hallway and they go around to collect [the recyclables] every morning or every afternoon, whichever is most convenient for [the students].”
Eighth grade student Chance Scrutchins is considered to be a contact person for newer students involved with the program, working as a member of a hallway recycling team. Scrutchins said he enjoys getting to work on one of the teams and feels it is important to take an active role in recycling.
“It makes sense because they’re cutting down lots of trees and one day there might not be any trees left,” he said. “But if we recycle we may not have to cut down as many trees to use.”
Hedden said the program, in many ways, is an extension of the classroom.
“We teach a lot in our science classes about keeping our environment safe and how [waste] affects the environment and animals ... and how much money is generated through recycling, whether it be by the time we give it back to the county and they send it off to be recycled and reused in products without wasting more trees for the paper and the plastics that are used for different things,” Hedden said.
Henshaw said CMS’s efforts in recycling are an example of the county’s growing recycling program.
“We have a very well respected [recycling] program here and that’s something not a lot of people realize, as extensive as it is,” she said. “I’ve had calls from national groups about our school recycling and that’s a big deal.”
She added, “In 2009 we won the state award from Georgia Recycling Coalition for the best government program and ... that year Georgia Recycling Coalition won [a national award] as best government program, so I feel like we’re the best of the best.”
Read The Daily Tribune News’ Sunday school page for updates on the pounds of recyclable material collected at each participating school.