Whitfield County Schools Win National Recycling Award


School is out for the summer and this year Whitfield County Schools ended the year by winning the Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl competition in the community division. The Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl is a national recycling competition for K-12 students, teacher, and school communities. Recycling rates are weighed and calculated for four weeks in the fall to determine the winners of 5 divisions. The community division means that the schools accept recycling from students and others within the community. This year’s Recycle-Bowl had more than 260,000 students and teachers participate and a total of 1.3 million pounds collected for recycling.

Whitfield County Schools collected a total of 31,010 pounds of recyclables during the Recycle Bowl. That’s the weight equivalent of 1,550 car tires or 87 black bears. The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste program provides the cans for the recycling to be collected and collects the recycling each week completely for free. The DWSWA also provides educational opportunities as class visits or field trips to the recycling center with activities from a licensed educator for free. Many of the Whitfield County Schools take advantage of these opportunities to help educate their students on becoming good global citizens.

Karey Williams, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for Whitfield County Schools and Chair of Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful supports the values taught by recycling and encourages the community to participate, "The Whitfield County School System is proud to support the recycling efforts of our community.  The students in our schools are excited to participate in efforts to keep our environment clean and healthy because they know the work is so important for the future of the planet."

While DWSWA maintains pickups, each school handles their in-school collection in a different way that is created to best suit their needs. Some have an afterschool team, or specific class in charge, and some have a particularly passionate teacher that helps encourage recycling such as Kali Tomlinson at Valley Point Middle School. She works with her students all year to help them learn what happens to recycling and increase parent engagement.

Schools that participate in past Recycle-Bowl competitions have been measured as recycling 10 percent more than schools that don’t participate. Recyclables recovered during the competition in 2018 prevented the release of 1,842.68 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to 4.5 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle and 643 tons of material recycled instead of landfilled.

“It’s always exciting to see students from across the country, and from all age groups, get excited about recycling at school as well as at home or on the go,” said Keep America Beautiful Youth and Education Program Manager Kathryn Joblon in a statement. The Whitfield County students of 2018-2019 have shown the nation their commitment to making a difference through recycling.

Submitted by Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful