Students Work for Greener Tomorrow

By: Joshua Sampson, Staff Writer
jsampson@boynegazette.com
(231) 222-2119

Boyne City middle school students are recycling for the future.  Deb Day, special education teacher at Boyne City middle school, said the program was started to maintain a cleaner environment for the students.

“I started it at least 15 years ago,” Day said. “We started by picking up white office paper in the classrooms.”

Once a week the sixth-grade special education class collects and weighs what they have recycled.  Day said the recycling program has collected at least 1,540 pounds of paper—just in the middle school alone.

“Right now, we have six kids in the program. They are the ones who do the paper for the whole school,” Day said.

The program has sparked a few new additions to recycling attempts at Boyne City Middle School, too. Recently, Susan Sharp, the eighth-grade science teacher, began to recycle cardboard from the kitchens, and secretary Peggy Baker began to recycle ink cartridges and batteries.  While the school has become environmentally conscious, specific outside variables have impacted them to make even newer changes as well.  “We get many vendors that send us catalogs, but we can do everything online now,” Day said. “It was a huge amount of waste we’d get on a daily basis.”

So, in order to continue promoting school recycling, Day said they promptly ended correspondence with each company and now do mostly every thing online.  Day went on to say that at the end of every week, after paper collection, they keep a running total of recycling facts.

The classroom, Day said, has seen some surprising results.  “You start learning about how much waste there is,” she said. “It is important to teach today’s generation about how it can change the way we live.”  Day believes the recycling program is a form of job training, and she said the students learn many important skills.

“It teaches them communication skills and cooperating skill, and it prepares them for the work force,” she said.  Day said the program has made a huge difference in the recycling program in Boyne City, too.

And, she gives a piece of advice for Boyne City residents: “People need to be more aware of what is available. They need to take advantage of the opportunities that recycling has to offer.”

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