Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Let's do another trash test

May 22 – Our previous analysis of lunchtime trash surprised us. The upper-school building had much more plastic! Our team decided to analyze the trash in the new building for a second time.
They wanted to ensure that the first results weren’t a fluke. Truly, the ratio of plastic-to-non-plastic items in the high school building is significantly higher than in the middle school.

If given more time, the students were interested in sampling some of the lower-school classrooms to see if their predicted trend occurred:

  • Lower school (gr. K – 5) – least amount
  • Middle school building (gr. 6 – 7) – more
  • Upper school building (gr. 8 -9) – highest numbers

Ironically, the smallest number of students (in the 8th and 9th grade we have 120 in total vs. 160 students in grades 6 and 7) are producing the most amount of plastic trash items that are not being recycled. Very interesting! Definitely speaks volumes to what the students were thinking regarding the difficulty of changing an older students’ behaviors vs. young students.

The students have been extremely excited about adding signage to each of the classrooms next year. The signs would promote recycling and the “what goes where” type information that is lacking for our classrooms.

They are also interested in creating basketball nets to mount on the walls above the recycling bins. They really want them to be made of all or some recycled materials. I told them to contact local pizza places to see if they could get some donated boxes. They weren’t too happy when I shared that we couldn’t “recycle used pizza boxes from our lunches, because the melted cheese and pizza guts would eventually rot and smell … ha-ha!!
– Mary Smith, director of student activities, Mountain Island Charter School

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