Recycling for learning and fun!

Recycling for learning and fun!

Hailey Hatt and Carter McCaig collecting bottles, cans and other recyclables at PVSS

A team of students at Pleasant Valley Secondary School (PVSS) are collecting recyclables, keeping it out of the landfill, and doing some hands-on learning at the same time!

“I like to do it because I like to help out,” said Carter McCraig, when explaining about the program. “I don’t like it when people put garbage in the recycling bins,” he says as he empties the smaller recycling bins into a larger bin for storage until it can be taken to the Armstrong recycling depot. The garbage he finds in the bin, he puts aside and then later puts it in the garbage can.

This is echoed by other students involved including Hailey Hatt and Alec Wilton.

“I do recycling with my Nana all the time,” comments Alec. “I like helping out our community and getting out of class to go to the recycling depot,” he says with a big smile.

“It is important for us to do this,” adds Hailey.

Carter is the mainstay of the recycling crew. The program originally started a number of years ago with Lena Dean and Shawnee Folliot, certified education assistants (CEA) who originally spearheaded a recycling program at the school.

Along came student Carter McCaig, who was already collecting bottles on his own, outside of school. When he started at PVSS he saw it as an opportunity to help his school community.

He and Folliot collect the bottles multiples times a week. Every two weeks a larger group of students take the bags of bottles to the bottle depot where they sort them out. Carter is conscientious, checking the recycling containers to see if they need to be emptied and making sure no one has put garbage in them.

If the recycling bags are wet, he and Folliot will empty them and replace them.

There’s quite a volume of recycling returnables at the school that would end up in the garbage if not collected and recycled by the group.

The program, which now includes having recycling containers around the school with garbage cans beside them, now also includes signs which outline what should go in the recycling containers and what should go in the garbage.

Learning Resource Teacher Charlotte Purdon explains it is quite an adventure to the recycling depot as they get out of class and go into the community. She says the trips are a lot of fun and the kids feel good helping out!  When they are at the depot, the student sort the bottles into categories and watch the tally go up. “We always make guesses about how much money we will receive. Last week it was $180. That was great!”

She says although it can be a pretty wet and yucky job, the students don’t complain and make it fun. “They are a great group.”

She says the project is also great financial literacy for the students. They makes guesses on what they will collect from the bottles, and they get paid in bills and coins which they count. “It all goes into an inclusive education fund, which goes towards activities and field trips for the students.”

She says for helping out the students do get a Snack Shack voucher for their efforts and to acknowledge their help. “But mainly they do it because it feels good to help.”

If anyone would like to donate their rinsed and bagged refundables to the students, you can call the school or drop off the bottles at PVSS office. Thank you!