Encouraging recycling in high schools
A commitment to environmental awareness has paid off for Palmerston North Girls’ High.
The school has won two $2000 stainless steel bins in a national competition that encourages the recycling of plastic in New Zealand high schools.
Girls’ High was one of 12 schools to win the environmentfriendly bins, after proving it was already showing initiative to reduce waste, that it genuinely needed the bins, and was committed to using them.
School environment club leader Kaia Costanza-Van Den Belt, 16, says the new bins will encourage more students to recycle and help reduce landfill waste.
‘‘It’s great because people will be able to recycle all their plastics instead of throwing them away. It’s a really good step towards reducing the waste at our school,’’ Kaia says.
Girls’ High deputy principal Helen Kinsey-Wightman says the amount of plastic dumped in high schools is an issue that needs to be addressed.
The new bins were a small step towards targeting a huge problem, she says.
‘‘Globally, I think we face a future where we will have real issues with getting rid of our rubbish.’’
Early encouragement of recycling habits of teenagers would influence how they recycled in their adult life. She hopes more high schools will jump on this bandwagon.
‘‘I’d love to see all schools recycling as much as possible – that’s what we need for our future.’’
Marty Hoffart from competition convenor, the Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust (EERST), says introducing a way to recycle plastics in high schools was necessary, with plastic containers from the $2 billion worth of beverages consumed each year in New Zealand posing a problem.
High school students in particular, Marty says ‘‘don’t do a good job in recycling beverage containers’’.
‘‘We’re hoping this will kickstart more recycling throughout high schools.’’ .
Judges were impressed with Girls’ High’s plans for the bins, which will be delivered in the first week of term three.
Interestingly, the three winning entries from single sex colleges were all from girls’ schools.
All the others came from coed schools.
Palmerston North Girls’ High School has won a couple of recycling bins in a national competition aimed at encouraging secondary school students to recycle more. Members of the school’s environment club celebrate, from left, Claire Johnson, 16, Grace Lockhead, 16, Hannah Bennett, 17, Elspeth Mack, 17, Cassandra Halligan, 17, Kaia Costanza-Van Den Belt, 16, Sarah Henderson, 13, and Sarah Humphrey,14.