Girl Scouts honored for recycling outreach effort
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.