Therese Colligan called her Green Club group at the township’s Hurffville Elementary this year “small but mighty.”
“Each year, I have students write an essay to me on why they want to be in the Green Club,” she relayed.
Once the group is formed, it takes on a project.
“This year, one of our members felt really passionate about recycling in our schools …” Colligan said. “He noticed that we don’t.”
So the team of seven students set out to let everyone know about the importance of recycling. They presented their project at a recent council meeting, with a goal for the township to add the school district to its recycling pickup route.
The students shared that recycling is a process where many materials that would otherwise be thrown away can be manufactured into new products to cut down on what people throw away.
“There are approximately 10,000 students and over 1,600 employees in the Washington Township Schools,” the group noted. “If every person just discarded two items that could be recycled every day, how much waste would that be?”
That’s 11,600 people; multiply that with two pieces of trash per day and you get 23,200 pieces of waste per day, approximately 696,000 pieces of trash per month, and about 6.26 million pieces of trash per school year, according to the group’s project.
“That’s a lot of waste” the team noted, adding that recycling helps to reduce the need for landfills or costly forms of disposal and recycling and benefits the environment and animal health.
“Recycling is like a magic trick of turning old stuff into new stuff,” the students emphasized. “Things like paper, glass bottles, plastic containers, and metal cans go to a place called a material recovery facility, where they can be transformed into a new book or a new bicycle rather than trash in the oceans.
Mayor Laurie Burns, Council President; Anthony DellaPia, Council Vice President; Peter Del Borrello III; and Councilmen Richard Bennett, Donald Brown Jr. and Jonson “Jack” Yerkes III thanked Colligan and her green team for their dedication “to making this world a better place for future generations to come.”
The local officials said they are committed to accomplishing the team’s goal of adding the school district to its recycling pickup route.