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The Recycling Challenge Presented by Black Mountain Elementary School Students. The Recycling Challenge was made possible by a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. A report to the School Board on our recycling program at Black Mountain. The Recycling Challenge

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the recycling challenge

The Recycling Challenge

Presented by Black Mountain Elementary School Students.

The Recycling Challenge was made possible by a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

A report to the School Board on our recycling program at Black Mountain.

slide2

The Recycling Challenge

BMES received funding from ADEQ to:

  • Come up with a plan to improve the school’s system for dealing with solid waste (paper and plastic).
  • Implement and test the plan.
  • Measure how effective the plan was.
  • Research if recycling makes sense.
  • Share the results of the work with others.
  • Present results to the School Board to convince them to begin recycling efforts at other schools.
slide4

The Recycling ChallengeWhat’s the plan?

  • BMES Master Waste Reduction Plan
  • Goals:
    • Improve our school’s current system for dealing with garbage by recycling paper and plastic to reduce amount of garbage going to the landfill.
    • Measure how much we improve our school’s current system for dealing with waste.
slide5

The Recycling ChallengeWhat’s the plan?

  • To accomplish this we must take the following steps:
    • Label and distribute two recycling boxes per classroom.
    • Explain to each class how to recycle. Provide written instructions to post in class.
    • For 4th and 5th explain how to measure paper, plastic, and garbage at end of each day.
    • For K-3 and other areas explain how they need to put recycling out to be measured on Friday.
    • Record measurements in data journals.
    • Take recyclables to bin. As needed or at end of week.
    • Evaluate with tables and graphs as needed to update web site.
    • Report results to board at end of project.
slide7

The Recycling ChallengeWhat can nature teach us?

The fourth grade made worm condominiums and learned that worms are important to the earth because they break down dead leaves and other waste. Worms help the world recycle waste.

slide8

The Recycling ChallengeWhat can nature teach us?

Some classes built Powerpoint presentations and others built Inspiration concept maps to show what we learned.

slide9

The Recycling ChallengeWhy does plastic need to be recycled?

The fifth grade worked with plastic and other polymers.

We did different experiments with polymers, and learned that no living thing can break down plastic because they don’t have the chemical scissors to break the polymer apart.

slide10

The Recycling ChallengeWhy does plastic need to be recycled?

We also took a nature hike to see decomposers and what they can break down.

We saw termites that have microbes in their gut that break down the cellulose in wood. Cellulose is an example of a natural polymer.

slide11

The Recycling ChallengeWhy does plastic need to be recycled?

Classes made cartoons, Powerpoints, and Hyperstudio stacks to show what we learned.

slide12

The Recycling ChallengeHow much waste is there at lunch?

  • Mrs. Severance and Mrs. Kappel’s classes found out how much the school wasted in the cafeteria at lunch. The first thing we did was to collect the data during all four lunches.
  • We separated the trash bins by food, Styrofoam, other, plastic, and paper.
  • Then we recorded the data needed to find volume and mass.
  • We used yard sticks for helping us find the volume of waste in a trashcan.
  • We used spring scales and a bathroom scale for mass.
slide13

The Recycling ChallengeHow much waste is there at lunch?

  • We used the data to create graphs on Microsoft Excel. We printed out the graphs and used the information to complete an executive summary. We were very surprised by the amount of Food and Styrofoam collected. Our Summaries had six sections:
  • What does the data tell you?
  • What kind of waste has the most impact on the landfill?
  • What strategies can you suggest to reduce the amount of waste?
  • How could you improve the collection of data?
  • Should you worry about the amount of waste created during lunch?
slide15

The Recycling ChallengeHow much waste is there at lunch?

  • We asked everyone to bring an Earth friendly lunch on Earth Day. We also asked people to eat everything on their plate. On Earth Day our classes did another lunch waste audit to compare the data from our first lunch audit to see if the waste amount would decrease.
  • Here is what we found out:
  • Mass of paper went down by at least half in three out of four lunches
  • Mass of food also went down by half in two lunches and one to two kilograms in the other two
  • Volume of styrofoam and food went down significantly.
  • The percentages of overall waste thrown away remained about the same.
slide16

The Recycling ChallengeHow does technology help recycling?

The third graders learned that technology is part of recycling. They used shredded tennis shoes and made playground cushions from them.

They tested their cushions by dropping eggs at different heights to simulate the fall of children. Since companies have figured out how to shred old tennis shoes instead of throwing them away in the landfill, they are recycled in a useful way.

slide17

The Recycling ChallengeCollecting our Data

The Recycling Club gathered the recycling bins from K-3 classrooms and support areas on Fridays. The Recycling Club then weighed the bins and emptied them. Sometimes we did waste audits on the classes. The data was entered into Excel.

After that we made graphs of the data to show who was doing the best in recycling.

slide18

The Recycling ChallengeSharing our data

Totals so far:

Paper:

1782.6 kg

3921.6 lbs

Plastic:

321.4 kg

707.1 lbs

slide19

The Recycling ChallengeSharing our data

Sample graph from support areas

slide20

The Recycling ChallengeSharing our data

Principal’s First Waste Audit:

slide21

The Recycling ChallengeSharing our data

  • Based on the data, if this trend continues, the principal will waste 1.3 kilograms or 2.9 pounds of paper a month that could be recycled. After discussing the problem with the principal, the Recycling Club Waste Audit Team has formulated the following efficiency improvement plan for the principal:
    • A small bin will be placed in the principal's office for paper and plastic
    • The recycling club will check during our Friday recycling to empty the small bins into the bigger bin.
    • The principal will be audited in the future to see how she is doing.
slide22

The Recycling ChallengeSharing our data

Black Mountain

Elementary School

Bobcats Recycling

Cave Creek, Arizona

  • The rest of our data can be found at:
  • www.scire.com/recycle/bmes_recycles/
  • It will be relocated to the Black Mountain Web site by Brenda Howard (BMES Webmaster) in the near future.

Recycho the worm says:

Just recycle it!

slide23

The Recycling ChallengeWhere do we go from here?

  • Our work has shown that:
    • Students are responsible enough to run a recycling program
    • Recycling reduces waste that goes to a landfill, which saves land for other uses
    • Nature provides proof that recycling is important
    • Recycling is part of nature, but nature needs our help because it can’t recycle everything.
    • Our recycling efforts next year should be focused on paper
slide24

The Recycling ChallengeWhere do we go from here?

  • We have shown through our recycling efforts that we can fulfill our Kids at Hope pledge:
    • I am a kid at hope. I am talented, smart, and capable of success. I have dreams for the future and I will climb to reach those goals and dreams everyday.
  • One of our goals this year was to start a recycling program at Black Mountain. We encourage the Board and District to continue the work that Black Mountain students have started.
slide25

Black Mountain

Elementary School

Bobcats Recycling

Cave Creek, Arizona

Recycho the worm says:

Just recycle it!

slide26

The Recycling ChallengeThanks

  • We would like to take this time to thank the following people for helping to bring recycling to Black Mountain Elementary School:
    • Pam Sitton, Principal Black Mountain
    • Nick D’Andrea, President ABCO Recycling
    • Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
    • The teachers at Black Mountain that opened their classrooms to lessons on recycling
    • The students at BMES, the reason recycling worked.
    • And, most important, the members of the Recycling Club and the lunch audit students from Mrs. S & Mrs. K’s classes.