TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – In its continued effort to produce adults who are conscious about the environment, the William E. Cottle Elementary School in Tuckahoe is taking steps to go green in the community and save the district money.
Beginning this year, the school is making strides in its “reduce, reuse, recycle” program by outfitting classrooms and the cafeteria with a new recycling program that will be run by fifth-grade students.
During a two-week training period, which included school officials, teachers, custodians, parents and students, the children were taught how much of what was previously considered garbage could be recycled.
According to the school, as many as eight bags of trash are thrown away each day and sent to landfills. On the first day of the new recycling program, the students were able to reduce the waste to just one bag. This will make the children more aware of the importance of recycling while reducing the cost of trash removal for the district.
There are now specially marked, color-coded containers that will help students recycle most of their waste. Even nonbiodegradable garbage such as Styrofoam trays, juice boxes and chip bags can be fully recycled.
According to Anna Giordano, who is coordinating the project for the school as well as other Westchester districts, 90 percent of school lunch garbage is compostable. She believes that by allowing the students to get firsthand experience at a young age, it will help make them environmentally conscious for the rest of their lives.
“By teaching the students to sort their lunch waste into different recycling categories, we will change the way they think about garbage,” she said. “We are teaching them about sustainability and that their actions really do impact the Earth.”