Tri-Village News

City lends hand in district's quest to boost recycling

Grandview to place recycling containers at two more schools

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The committee working to increase the amount of material recycled in the Grandview Heights City School District is getting an assist from the city.

Grandview Heights leaders have agreed to provide recycling containers for Stevenson Elementary School and Grandview Heights High School, to go along with one already in place north of Edison Intermediate-Middle School and used by the high school.

The new containers will provide "one-stop shopping" for recycling, said Nicole DeVere, co-leader of the committee with Jerry Bower.

"They will be replacing the green and yellow Abitibi recycling containers used to collect paper and newspapers. I don't think anybody likes those containers," DeVere said.

The school district receives "a nominal fee" for the paper it turns in for recycling that is "more of a feel-good thing rather than a money-maker for the schools," she said.

Residents who live near the schools have complained about the refuse in the containers being collected late at night, DeVere said.

When the new containers are put in place, the schools will be able to fill them with all types of recyclable materials, including plastic, glass, aluminum, paper and milk cartons, Bower said.

"About the only thing the city won't accept is Styrofoam -- things like cups and fast-food containers," he said.

The more recyclable material the city can collect, the less trash it will have to take to the landfill -- and the greater cost savings it will see, Bower said.

"This will be a win-win for everybody," he said.

The committee has completed an audit of the schools, talking to administrators and teachers to find out what recycling efforts are under way in the buildings, how effective they are and what is needed to allow the recycling effort to grow, DeVere said.

"We were pleasantly surprised at the enthusiastic response we received," she said. "Everybody is embracing this. We really didn't hear any negative comments."

The high school already has a strong recycling effort coordinated by its environmental club, with bins earmarked for recyclable material in each classroom, DeVere said. However, the high school has a need for recycling containers in the cafeteria and gymnasium.

"Edison doesn't have recycling going in any classroom and Stevenson's somewhere in between," she said.

The committee's next step is to develop a proposed plan with estimated costs to increase the recycling effort, with hopes of presenting the plan to the school board in December, DeVere said.

"We will be looking for grant opportunities when we can't cover our small costs," Bower said.

A kickoff to the recycling initiative, which would include an educational program for students and staff, could begin in the spring, he said.

"That would be a good time to start, tying it in with the whole idea of spring cleaning and renewal in the spring," Bower said.

"I think 2013 is going to be our time for really getting things going," DeVere said.

One of the committee's goals is to help educate students about the importance of recycling, Bower said.

"We want to get them used to the idea of recycling as early as possible" so it becomes a lifelong habit, he said.

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