Par­ents push to ex­pand re­cy­cling ef­forts

PressReader - LStep Channel - Par­ents push to ex­pand re­cy­cling ef­forts
Sarah Truszkowski sees her chil­dren’s school gen­er­at­ing a lot of un­nec­es­sary waste, and hopes the Regina pub­lic school board will hear her ideas for fix­ing the prob­lem.“They don’t re­cy­cle plas­tic at all. It’s just pa­per, all pa­per . ... There’s a lot more that can be re­cy­cled, and they’re just not do­ing it,” said Truszkowski, whose three chil­dren at­tend Ecole Con­naught School.Truszkowski and her friend Saman­tha Bromm, who has two chil­dren at­tend­ing Ecole Massey, plan to ad­dress the school board about the issue at Tuesday’s pub­lic board meet­ing.There are more than 25,600 stu­dents and staff work­ing in 54 Regina Pub­lic School Divi­sion prop­er­ties, dur­ing a 195-day school year.They all re­cy­cle pa­per and card­board through Crown Shred & Re­cy­cling. Non-pa­per items are re­cy­cled on in­di­vid­ual schools’ ini­tia­tive.Divi­sion spokesman Terry Lazarou said some schools re­quest that stu­dents take lunch-re­lated pack­ag­ing home with them. Some schools re­cy­cle cans and Te­tra Paks to raise funds.At Con­naught, Truszkowski said one teacher col­lects and re­cy­cles used mark­ers.“I don’t think it is the best we can (do). I think we can do more,” said Truszkowski.She hopes the school board can “cre­ate new poli­cies” to ef­fect some “sim­ple changes that can im­prove what we’re do­ing.”There is a policy in place already, which was last up­dated in Fe­bru­ary 2014.In its sus­tain­abil­ity policy, the board “un­der­stands its fun­da­men­tal responsibility to be en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able” and “ac­knowl­edges it has a responsibility to ed­u­cate stu­dents and pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for staff, to de­velop so­cial responsibility, eco­log­i­cal lit­er­acy and sus­tain­able be­hav­iours and ac­tions.”In each class­room, staff room, of­fice or oth­er­wise, Truszkowski sug­gests adding an ex­tra bin for re­cy­cling, just as there’s a trash bin.She also sug­gests en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents and staff to re­duce their own waste — us­ing re­us­able con­tain­ers or cups to hold food and drinks, and cloth bags in­stead of plas­tic.She rec­og­nizes it could mean a “change of habit” for stu­dents and staff, along with some ed­u­ca­tion about what and how to re­cy­cle.“Have two kids from ev­ery class bring­ing out that col­lec­tion,” she said. “It might add an ex­tra two min­utes of some­thing to do, but it’s got to be put into our life­style, be­cause the amount of plas­tics that we’re go­ing through and pil­ing up in the land­fill is just aw­ful.”Through res­i­den­tial curb­side re­cy­cling, Regina res­i­dents di­vert ap­prox­i­mately 20 per cent of house­hold waste from land­fill.“If peo­ple in the school com­mu­nity, mean­ing stu­dents and/ or staff, or even the school com­mu­nity council, wanted to be in­volved in this, there’s no rea­son to not do it,” said Lazarou. “So long as it doesn’t cre­ate is­sues ... with re­spect to en­sur­ing the cur­ricu­lum gets achieved, with how much time there is avail­able to do other things in the school that are reg­i­mented.”Sus­tain­abil­ity is part of the provin­cial cur­ricu­lum, specif­i­cally in sci­ence.In each grade, the cur­ricu­lum man­dates that stu­dents “ex­pe­ri­ence op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to the en­vi­ron­men­tal, eco­nomic and so­cial sus­tain­abil­ity of lo­cal and global com­mu­ni­ties.”As early as kinder­garten, chil­dren are sup­posed to “demon­strate en­vi­ron­men­tally-re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iours in the class­room and school (e.g., re­cy­cle and com­post).”Rick Had­dad, com­mer­cial busi­ness man­ager for Crown Shred & Re­cy­cling, said it’s a “pretty mi­nor fee” to change a con­tract from just “fi­bre” (pa­per and card­board) to a sin­gle-stream ser­vice that col­lects all re­cy­clables (in­clud­ing plas­tic).That could cre­ate more vol­ume, how­ever, which would cost more in pickup and pro­cess­ing fees.“If we come out once ev­ery week in­stead of once ev­ery two or four weeks, it’s go­ing to cost you a lit­tle more money,” said Had­dad.“But in the same re­spect, that’s also stuff that you’re not throw­ing in your dump­ster now, so it kind of off­sets, be­cause oth­er­wise, you’re pay­ing to get it hauled away by a garbage com­pany and pay­ing land­fill fees.”Lazarou said schools could ex­pe­ri­ence an “ac­cu­mu­la­tion of bugs and ro­dents” if re­cy­clables pile up. Both Crown Shred and the City of Regina ad­vise peo­ple to rinse items be­fore re­cy­cling.“The big­gest thing is to change the mind­set around our waste and to change our cul­ture and the habits about, ‘We can do this. We can rinse out our yo­gurt con­tain­ers and then put them in a bin. We can col­lect more of­ten,’ ” said Truszkowski.“Just sort of chang­ing our minds from, ‘It’s go­ing to be too hard, we can’t do this,’ to, ‘What can we do?’ I think that’s go­ing to be the first big­gest step to mak­ing some changes.”

Sarah Truszkowski wants to see Regina Pub­lic School Board schools, in­clud­ing Ecole Con­naught School where her kids at­tend class, ex­pand re­cy­cling ef­forts. She thinks adding more re­cy­cling bins and en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents and staff to re­duce their own waste is a good place to start.

© PressReader. All rights reserved.