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By Eileen Bowers
An aluminum can gets infinite chances at life. The Earth? Just one.
And so is the rationale of the middle and high school students that monitored the recycling/trash center during the two days of our recent Seafood Festival. Earning community service or environmental scholarship points, these middle and high school students not only made sure that clam shells and all recyclable items were indeed recycled, but also helped to educate by spreading the word about recycling, letting people know that not just major contributions help – but the small ones do as well.
The Seafood Festival was not only an opportunity for these students to educate the public about recycling, it also became an awakening for these student-volunteers as they now recognize how important their work is in promoting recycling and how few people actually “get it.” They also physically saw the quantity of our waste that can actually be recycled and recognize the money that was saved by our city for landfill tipping fees that would have been paid on all that was recycled. Paying to have the weight of all those clam shells hauled to a landfill and dumped certainly would have been ludicrous.
Soliciting pledges for this year’s National America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, was one of the ways in which our student-volunteers educated the public. America Recycles Day is a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful and, through the efforts of its volunteers, the national recycling rate has increased every year since 1980. Signed into Florida law in 1980, the Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act established a statewide recycling goal of 75-percent by 2020. The current recycling rate is only 34-percent, so you can see why our students were eager to solicit pledges.
Join us in recycling more. Join the members of the Energy Advisory Panel and our student volunteers:
Jeffrey Schleede (honorary 1st grade volunteer)
Take the pledge for America Recycles Day 2012, and pledge to:
• Learn. I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community.
• Act. Reduce my personal waste by recycling. Within the next month, I will recycle more.
For more information or to pledge on-line, go to www.americarecyclesday .org.