Did Your School Target Recycling?

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Recycling can help empower even the youngest eco-superhero. Luckily, all K through 12 schools in Whitfield County and Dalton take part in the Target Recycling program. This gives students the option of recycling at school. As part of your back to school routine, go over with your child why recycling is important and what to recycle. Your child can recycle with confidence and learn from a young age that even simple choices can make a huge difference.

Many schools encourage recycling in school and at home. For example, New Hope Middle sends reminders home once a month for recycling and using their bin. Target Recycling offers free workshops, presentations and tours related to waste management and other environmental issues to all schools.

You can help your child become a star recycler in their school by teaching them what can go in their classroom bin from the comfort of your own home. All schools recycle mixed paper. That includes poster boards, books, paperboard products, copy paper, magazines and other types of mixed paper. Make sure they also know that soiled or waxed paper, such as sticker paper, cannot go in the bin.

A few schools have a plastic recycling bin. Only bottles and jugs will go into these containers. You can even start saving some shampoo bottles, detergent containers and milk jugs to put in these the first day of school. Ask your school which bins they have so that you can prepare.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Help your child understand the process of sorting recyclables by doing so together. Take a trip to the nearest convenience center and sort through your recyclables by putting them in the correct bins. If you have a curbside bin, arrange your items into neat sections (your curbside driver will appreciate this, too).

Help teach your child why it is important to recycle through visual examples. Take a walk through nature and talk about what is made from trees that we use every day. The first things to come to mind are probably paper, wooden furniture and flooring, and fruit and nuts. There are other, lesser-known items that are partially made from trees such as charcoal, Parmesan cheese, gum, sponges and latex gloves. In your discussion, focus on how the recycled paper gets reused in place of trees in many products. Two thousand pounds of recycled paper save 17 trees. That may sound like a lot of paper, but it is estimated that the average person goes through 700 pounds of paper products per year.

Winners of the Target Recycling at School program are calculated by how many pounds per student are recycled. Schools that place in the top three are awarded a prize that benefits the entire school such as multiple classroom bins or a cart to tote recyclables on.

In the 2017-18 Target Recycling at School Contest, the following schools placed in the top three in their category. Elementary school: first place, Learning Tree School with the recycling rate of 127.4 pounds per student; second place, Dug Gap Elementary at 57.4 pounds per student; third place, Pleasant Grove at 46.2 pounds per student. Middle school: first place, New Hope Middle with 60.9 pounds per student; second place, Westside Middle at 21.1 pounds per student; third place, Valley Point Middle at 16.3 pounds per student. High school: first place, Southeast Whitfield High with 11.4 pounds per student; second place, Career Academy and Phoenix High with 8.5 pounds per student; third place, Coahulla Creek High with 7.7 pounds per student. All the participating schools together recycled 339,590 pounds which is the weight equivalent of 13 school buses.

Is your school on this list from last year? Help your school win this year by empowering your child today. No person is too young to make the world a better place.