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Recycling at Centerville Jr. High

Students Lead Recycling and Composting Tasks on CampusStudents Lead Recycling and Composting Tasks on CampusThere is something amazing happening at Centerville Jr. High during Mr. Vilkins Leadership class, ailment and most of the students on campus don’t even know. Every Friday during fifth period, find the twenty five students in Leadership class collect 22 recycling bins and 18 compost bins from all around campus to sort, advice empty and clean all within an hour class period.

Tasks are split into compost, recycling, and bin washer groups that students rotate through every week. They start by collecting the recycle and compost bins around the hallways, courtyard, and cafeteria and carry them to the dumpsters.  Using trash pickers, students go through each bin and pick out materials that do not belong, like a plastic bottle in the compost bin.  When the bin looks about 90% filled of the proper material, whether its recyclables or compost, they empty the bins in the dumpsters and wheel them to the next station. There is some fun nagging; students joke about not wearing nice clothes on Fridays. But overall they happily do their assigned jobs.

From here the bins get transported to the wash station, near a tree to help reuse water, and placed in a semi-circle. The designated washer turns the hose onto jet stream and cleans the inside of the bins far enough away that large materials stay on the ground to rake up after.

Bin Washing StationBin Washing Station

During this time, the other students are retrieving recycling from the classrooms and emptying them in the dumpsters. With all of this on their plate, they still finish with time to spare in the classroom. It is a unique set-up that students are responsible for recycling and composting, and an inspiration for other schools to do the same. With students taking the time to pick through the bins before emptying into the dumpsters, the percentage of correct materials going into the dumpsters is very high. Custodians also participate by using pickers to remove materials out of landfill bins for recycling or composting. It is a smooth process, students are enthusiastic, and the quality of sorting is something every school should be striving for.