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Recycling Station Tune-Up

Student teams refurbish diversion stationsStudent teams refurbish diversion stationsLivermore High's AP Environment Science students were urged to select a project where they can "Think Globally, but act Locally," and to, "Make a difference." This project involved the difficult task of breathing new life into the school's aging recycling stations. Many of the recycle stations are approaching seven years old. These stations have been on campus longer than any of the current students. They have have been heavily used and have been sitting out in the elements.

So, repair and maintenance is in order.

  • The signs have faded, and are being replaced.
  • Some doors broke off, and have been found, and reinstalled.
  • The plastic seams were broken on some, and were reglued.
  • The locks were broken or bent, and were replaced with the redesigned wooden latch.
  • Some doors warped, and were adjusted to fit again.
  • Some stations have been used as skateboard jumps, and needed to be sanded.
  • Most recyclers just get dirty and nasty, and must be scraped, sprayed off, and wiped down.

This turned out to be a huge, dirty job, but these guys are getting it done!

Whenever a person walks by room S4, one of these stations is sitting along side of the building "in-the-process" of being fixed up. Each station has different needs, but looking around campus, most of the stations look pretty good, and very functional, thanks to the work of these AP Environmental Science students.

New Signs

Making Bin LabelsMaking Bin LabelsLaminated images and written instructions have been added to the recycling stations. Every effort has been made to keep therecycling stations intuitive, and easy to use.  "Compost" is a clear message to some people, and perhaps not to everyone. To help users know where to put apple cores, or milk cartons, or the remnant of their sandwich, we have added new labels.

Big images of fruit or milk cartons lure the student to the correct bin. When the student gets closer to the "COMPOST" sign, the simple written instructions help confirm they are at the right place. Just under, "COMPOST" is the small print, "food scraps and milk-cartons"  please."

"Can I recycle my engine oil here? It says recycling!"

Recycling's Fine PrintRecycling's Fine PrintNo engine oil recycling right here. But Livermore Sanitation will collect engine oil from residences.

So, what material should go in the "Recycling" bin?  On the LHS campus outdoor recycle stations, the "Recycling" sign means plastic bottles and aluminum cans. The school is working to remove aluminum and plastic from the waste stream headed to the landfill. Paper, cardboard, batteries, eye-glasses, ink cartridges are all recycled somewhere else on campus.

Compost LabelCompost LabelTo clarify the message, students improved thesignage. Plastic bottles and aluminum cans are "low-hanging-fruit", meaning they are an easy first-step to reducing the waste stream. Plastic and aluminum are also important because they have a decent redemption value, which encourages student clubs to help collect plastic and aluminum from these bins and earn money for their club.

The Recycling side of the stations now have picrures of water bottles and aluminum cans. To reduce the amount of odd entries in the Recycling slot, students added "plastic bottles and aluminum cans, please". Adding "please" just sounded less bossy.

Republished from The LHS Recycling Blog