Calvert Schools Increase Recycling Efforts

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Recycling in schools increased 42% last year which translated to 1000 fewer cubic yards of trash being dumped into a landfill.  In addition to being good for the planet, recycling is good for the school system’s budget since it can keep down trash removal costs. 

The school system has been recycling paper and cardboard for years. Recently, it has added a single stream recycling program so students and staff can also recycle plastic, aluminum, steel and glass.  The single stream process makes it easy to recycle because all appropriate items can be put into one dumpster. 

While school facilities staff are providing the means and coordinating the effort, instructional initiatives help students understand the importance of recycling.  CHESPAX, the school system’s environmental program, has a system-wide recycling unit for second graders and its staff supports schools as they work to become “green schools” through the Green Schools to a Clean Bay initiative. 

“There is a growing awareness among students and staff of the importance of recycling as a way to reduce the environmental footprint of our individual schools,” said Michelle Daubon, Green School Coordinator. 

Daubon points to Northern Middle School as an example.  She says that while the school is not yet a Maryland Green School, it is on its way.  As the students and staff work toward having the school recognized as a school that is "green" both instructionally and in its operations, they have increased their recycling efforts. 

Led by teacher Bryan Kelsey, students and custodial staff work together to ensure that paper, cans, and bottles generated in a typical school day make their way to the appropriate receptacle rather than the dumpster that is destined for a landfill.  They award “Bobcat Bucks” to help increase recycling and reduce waste during lunchtime, and they have a recycling-focused organizational period when students work with custodial staff to facilitate paper recycling in classrooms.

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