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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - New Bern High School, New Bern, North Carolina, USA

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New Bern High School, New Bern, North Carolina, USA
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Registered: October 2014
City/Town/Province: NEW BERN
Posts: 1
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When I first saw the massive amount of recyclable waste being thrown away on the school campus, I was astounded. Neither the cafeteria nor athletic fields had recycling bins, though there were a few teachers who recycled in their classrooms. My first plan was to combat the lack of recycling at our sports facilities. Under my leadership, the Green Team came up with a set of goals, action steps and deadlines. By the winter of my junior year we had selected the containers, knew the costs and placements on campus and had begun to plan the fundraising. Our goal was to have the containers in place by the fall of next year. I had researched and chose the brand and model which offered the best deal for a quality bin and mapped the locations where of each of the bins would be placed. I also researched the state law that mandated recycling in North Carolina which I hoped would convince others of the importance of this project. I submitted our proposal to the principal and to the teacher in charge of Green Team. It was approved. Now we needed a way to raise the money. My first idea was to ask local businesses to sponsor the project. Living in “the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola” I figured the local Pepsi bottler would be glad to donate containers. I called, sent letters and organized club visits to their offices, but we could find no one with the authority or the means to help. I brainstormed with other members of the Green Team and we came up with an event called “A Walk to Recycle.” We would sell $2 passes to walk the school’s track instead of attending class on a Friday afternoon. Completing all the mandated paperwork, the proposal was submitted to administration and approved.
That weekend, the Green Team members made posters from reused paper and tickets from old newspaper. We met on Monday and I organized people to sell tickets for the event during lunch and planned for a daily announcement informing students of the event. By Friday, 234 people had signed up. On a chance encounter, someone shared that it might be a good idea to bring footballs for the participants. Minutes before the event, I was arranging for footballs to be brought to the field. Everything fell into place: the weather was beautiful, no one got into a fight, and even a few teachers came out to support the event. Overall, we raised $468.
Even with the great turnout at the A Walk to Recycle event, we still were short of our goal of $600 dollars. That summer, I wrote letters to local businesses, and with a another member of the club we hand delivered them. A few weeks later our work was rewarded with two checks: one for $100 and another for $150. We had surpassed our goal.
We were so excited about the program we decided to try to extend it inside the school’s walls as well. We brought in old boxes and painted them orange and put recycling logos on them. These were distributed to teachers throughout the school to be used as classroom recycling bins. We also brought the program to the lunchroom. I found out in years prior, that there were already recycling containers for the lunchroom. I spoke with the manager of the cafeteria and he said he did not have permission to employ the manpower to empty the bins. I met with the principal and he agreed to help and the next week students were recycling in the lunchroom. The bins arrived; we labeled them with the recycling logo and finally placed them on campus for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and fans to recycle on the New Bern High School campus.
Naively, I believed that people would gladly recycle if it were just as convenient as using the trash. Once the bins were in place though, I saw that people have some funny ideas about what does and does not go in a recycling bin. We go to many of the sporting events at the high school and pick up recycles and trash after the games are over. Our team is now focusing on inspiring people to recycle their bottles and cans without our help and educating them on types of plastics and containers that are recyclable.
Date: October 6, 2014 Views: 7669 File size: 16.0kb, 2378.2kb : 3264 x 2448
Hours Volunteered: 98
Volunteers: 14
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 14 to 40
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 35
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 100
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