A few months ago Ms. Debbie Atchison, a first grade teacher at Jackson Elementary School in Seymour, Indiana, contacted me about a 4-week statewide recycling contest her school was participating in. Jackson Elementary wanted to collect plastic bags, in addition to collecting other recyclable materials, and bring those collected bags to our recycling facility in North Vernon, Indianato be recycled. I was beyond thrilled to help these young environmentalists and was honored the students had chosen Hilex Poly to help them recycle the plastic bags, sacks and wraps they would be collecting.
While other schools throughout the state were busy collecting aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other curbside-recyclable materials, Jackson Elementary students thought ahead of the curve as it was the only school to incorporate plastic bag collection into the contest. The students hoped including plastic bags in their recyclable materials would set them apart from other participating schools throughout the state and help Jackson Elementary collect the largest amount of recyclable materials!
I’m excited to say that Jackson Elementary brought more than 100 pounds of plastic bags to our recycling facility at the end of the contest. In total Jackson Elementary prevented 3,659 pounds of paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic water bottles, steel cans and, of course, plastic bags from entering the local landfill in just one month!
In order to recognize the students for their hard work and efforts to be more environmentally friendly, last week I went to Jackson Elementary School to present a $100 donation. The donation will be used to buy extra reams of paper and the remaining amount will be donated to Jackson Elementary School’s Habitat Club, an environmental extracurricular club that helped the students collect and weigh the recyclable material collected.
While Jackson Elementary School did not win the statewide competition, I’m proud of the students’ great effort towards making recycling an essential part of their daily lives. To continue the plastic bag recycling and reusing momentum, Ms. Atchison’s class will also collect 100 plastic bags in honor of the 100th day of school this year. Keep up the great work!