Charlottesville High School Students Start Recycling Challenge

By: News Email
By: News Email

November 14, 2013

Local students put on gloves and dug through trash bags to learn and develop recycling habits.

Thursday kicked off the Recycling Challenge. The project is led by Charlottesville High School students and supported by Republic Services, a local recycling and waste hauler, in partnership with TFC Recycling.

Students sorted the school's trash into recyclables, compost, and trash and measured each amount. By performing this waste audit, the students.

The challenge runs through the school year and they'll measure how recycling changes at the school.

"They're going to use the data they've gathered to create a baseline to identify how great a job they are doing recycling and where they can improve. So they'll come back in the Spring and do the exact same thing again and look and see what the difference between the fall or winter session is and what the spring session is and how much they've been able to advance that," said Matt Terrell, the General Manager of Republic Services Charlottesville, which hauls the trash for Charlottesville City Schools.

The goal of the challenge is to increase single-stream recycling rates, composting, and student awareness of the environment.

"Waste is big problem, not only at CHS but in America, everywhere. And theres a lot we can do right here just because we do have a very willing and eager student body and if they just knew where to put everything -- recycling, composting, trash -- that we would reduce our waste a lot," said Anna Perry, a CHS senior who helped organize the event.

Single-stream recycling, as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency, is the division of only recyclable materials separate from trash and organic matter, or compost. The clean recycling is then taken to a clean materials recovery facility and separated.

Terrell said Republic Services partnered with Charlottesville High School "to start a recycling challenge and a understanding of what's really in the waste stream, and identifying that single stream recycling -- actually separated single-stream recycling, putting it in two separate containers rather than an all-in-one -- how beneficial that is in the community and in the recycling markets."

The hope is to expand the project into the city's middle and elementary schools next spring.

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