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Cedar Key School was recognized Friday by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for outstanding efforts in 2011 to promote recycling.
Cedar Key students, collecting about 550 pledges to recycle in FDEP’s staterwide K-12 Recycling Pledge Card Contest, pushed their school to the top three in the state.
Shannan Reynolds, the FDEP representative who presented the school with a certificate and a refurbished computer, said there are annually about 32,000 pledges from across the country, with about 20 percent of them coming from Florida. Florida students collected 6,600 pledges this year. Cedar Key School had the second most pledges per capita.
“This just lends us an opportunity to educate and encourage people to recycle,” Reynolds said.
Principal Sue Ice, in front of a packed auditorium Friday afternoon, told the students, “We want to encourage recycling. You have been doing a really good job, and we want you to keep doing that.”
Student Caitlyn Goss told her classmates, “You don’t have to be an expert in recycling to know it’s a good thing.”
Recycling saves energy, Goss said. It saves water, forests and extends the lives of landfills.
“Landfills don’t smell so great. We don’t want any of those in our back yards.”
Tom Deverin, a member of the city’s enrgy advisory panel, told the students that Cedar Key School is a model for energy awareness, sustainability and conservation.
“It’s important to us that you know about these subjects. Fifty years ago, I was sitting in a class like you, but we didn’t know about environmental scence.”
Europe has an energy efficiency rating at 85 percent, he said. The U.S. is only at 38 percent.