The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
High school club rolls out recycling program
MIDDLETOWN — Members of the Middletown High School Environmental Club began their recycling week initiative earlier this month.
Held May 8 to 12, the initiative was designed to educate both students and staff on the importance of recycling in Connecticut, according to club advisor and science teacher Jeff Mickiewicz.
Members are Sophia Cardello, treasurer; Amya Gibbs and Dana Kugeman, co-presidents; Ariel Mason, vice president; and Emily Swift, secretary.
Each day had a specific lesson created and shared with the school during the daily morning announcements. Teachers had the option to continue lessons in their classes throughout the day or work on them during the Pride homeroom period each day, he said.
The lessons consisted of a variety of activities: student videos that demonstrated how to use the new mobile recycling centers and new bins in the classrooms properly, Mickiewicz said.
Video production students also assisted the effort, he added.
The first three days were spent educating the high school about recycling. The mobile centers were put into use in the cafeteria on Thursday. Student participation has been excellent so far, the science teacher said.
Each room now has the smaller blue bin for paper and the larger green bin for everything else that is recyclable. There are also posters in each room outlining what goes where, he said.
“We do single stream recycling here at MHS, but we wanted to keep the paper separate initially so it wouldn’t be contaminated by liquid that was possibly in other drink containers. Once collected, all of the items go together,” Mickiewicz said.
Kathi Wickham, a special education teacher at the high school, will empty the bins in the classrooms, and will be continuing the activity with a group of her students on a weekly basis.
The two mobile recycling centers in the cafeteria are for recyclable materials, garbage and also 5 cent deposit items. In the future, the advisor said, the hope is to begin collecting food scraps.
Both Home Depot in Middletown and Lowe’s in Cromwell provided a discount on some of the items, and the rest of the funds were acquired through an environmental grant, Mickiewicz said.
Funding for the bins needed for the classrooms was made available by new Principal Dawn Brooks.
The Key Club also provided some assistance, and members are helping out in the cafeteria as students begin using the centers.
The deposit money will go back into the Environmental Club’s fund.
“We hope to outfit the other schools in the district with mobile recycling centers, and also provide them with ways that they can effectively roll out a more efficient recycling program at their school. This is what drove our work this year,” Mickiewicz said.