After little more than a month, a new recycling effort at Grandview Heights High School has collected more than 400 pounds of recyclable refuse from students and teachers.

After little more than a month, a new recycling effort at Grandview Heights High School has collected more than 400 pounds of recyclable refuse from students and teachers.

The program was initiated by the school's environmental club, a student group formed four years ago to raise awareness of environmental issues at GHHS.

Establishing a recycling program at the school has been a goal of the club since its formation, but the idea only came to fruition this year, said Hallie Kerr, club president.

"This year we have a (school district) facilities director (Brett Bradley) who has been really accommodating," said Elaina Vimmerstedt, club vice president. "He's been really helpful. We couldn't have gotten the program off the ground without his assistance."

Club adviser Steve Hall also contributed grant money he has received for his classroom toward the project, Kerr said.

Over winter break, club members placed trash containers earmarked for recyclables in each classroom and put up signs advertising the new program, which began when students returned from the break on Jan. 5, Vimmerstedt said.

Students and staff are encouraged to place aluminum cans, metal cans, cardboard packages and other recyclables in the classroom containers, club member Ezra Baker said.

Each Tuesday and Friday, club members collect the materials from the containers and place them in larger bins before distributing the refuse in the recycling dumpsters outside the school, Hall said.

"We've been really pleased with the response so far," she said.

The club is "slowly" raising money from the aluminum cans it is collecting that will be able to be used to continue and expand the program, club member Ben Mathes said.

Goals for expanding the program include obtaining a uniform set of cardboard boxes for the collection of recyclable paper materials and placing larger recycling bins in the hallways and at the stadium and gymnasium for use at sporting events, Kerr said.

"We'd also like to see if we could expand the program into the other schools," she said.

Many students are aware of the need to recycle, Kerr said.

"Probably about 50 percent care and about 50 percent couldn't care less," Mathes said.

It is frustrating to watch when a student walks right past one of the trash containers the club has placed in the classrooms and throws recyclable material into the regular refuse bins, he said.

An encouraging sign is that the amount of materials collected has increased each week, Kerr said.

"More people seem to (be) aware of it," she said.

Many of the recycling club members are seniors, and they are hoping to encourage younger students to become involved in the club and ensure the program continues next year, Kerr said.

"The club was passed on to us when we were freshmen and we're trying to pass it on as a legacy to the freshmen this year," Vimmerstedt said.