Girl Scouts hon­ored for re­cy­cling out­reach ef­fort

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

Three local mem­bers of the Girl Scouts have been rec­og­nized by Mayor Steve Noble for a re­cy­cling ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign that in­volved vis­it­ing about 5,000 Kingston houses over the past four months.

Sophia From­son, Paige Bax­ter and Lilith Soecht­ing — all age 11 and in sixth grade — were hon­ored at a Com­mon Council meet­ing Tues­day. Noble said the ef­fort was laud­able be­cause some res­i­dents still are try­ing to fig­ure out the specifics of re­cy­cling.

“They came to me and said, ‘We want to help be­cause we see that peo­ple don’t re­cy­cle as well as they should and we want to get out the mes­sage bet­ter,’” Noble said of the three girls. “They went door to door and met peo­ple and tried to do some really soft re­cy­cling ed­u­ca­tion. It’s a whole lot bet­ter ap­proach to than to have [city Code En­force­ment Of­fi­cer] Jeanne Ed­wards knock­ing on your door with a ticket.”

Sophia, Paige and Lilith are in Girl Scout Troop 251, whose leader, Kim Kelly, said the re­cy­cling idea evolved from a pre­vi­ous fundrais­ing drive.

“We raised money to go to Dis­ney [World] by col­lect­ing five-cent bot­tles and cans,” she said. “That took eight years. I had been con­tin­u­ing col­lect­ing with these girls and re­al­ized how peo­ple don’t un­der­stand how to re­cy­cle cor­rectly.”

Kelly said the project in­volved the girls cov­er­ing four city blocks once or twice per week since June and pro­duc­ing an eight­minute video to de­scribe their project.

The three girls have re­ceived the Girl Scouts’ Bronze Award, the high­est achiev­able award at the ju­nior level of scout­ing.

Sophia said the most in­ter­est­ing part of the project was see­ing how peo­ple filled out a re­cy­cling sur­vey.

“Some peo­ple didn’t know how to re­cy­cle,” she said. “That’s not sur­pris­ing, but some peo­ple didn’t know plas­tic bags weren’t sup­pose to go in your blue bins and you’re sup­posed to take them to cer­tain stores that have col­lec­tion bins. Some peo­ple didn’t know that you couldn’t re­cy­cle pizza boxes be­cause of the grease, and if you mix it with re­cy­cling, it’s con­tam­i­na­tion.”

The girls said find­ing such items as car­pet­ing in re­cy­cling con­tain­ers was ev­i­dence that their project was needed.

Paige said the project was fun be­cause it gave her an op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in de­vel­op­ing a video.

“I got to ex­plain things to peo­ple, and I got to act out dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters and teach peo­ple about re­cy­cling,” she said.


Lilith Soecht­ing, left, Sophia From­son, cen­ter, and Paige Bax­ter, mem­bers of Girl Scout Troop 251 in Kingston, pose in front of a city re­cy­cling col­lec­tion truck.

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