Port Moody students get the message out on recycling

Heritage Woods Environment Club recognized for effort to get students to use new recycling bins

You’re never too young nor too old to learn how to recycle and for one local high school, the message brought them cash and special mention.

Port Moody high school students earned $5,000 and accolades from B.C.’s Return-It program for promoting a recycling program to convince 30,000 School District 43 students to sort garbage, cans and bottles, paper and organics for recycling.

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In addition to diverting 21,600 beverage containers from the landfill in a single year, Heritage Woods secondary school’s Environment Club spread their recycling message of ‘Know Where It Goes, Think Before You Throw’ through an entertaining video about the new district-wide sorting bins. Their efforts reached approximately 32,000 students in nearly 70 schools.

“The slogan ‘Know Where It Goes, Think Before You Throw’ was often repeated by students in our hallways,” said Brooke Wilson, a teacher a Heritage Woods. “But we realized that in order to make a bigger difference, we would have to spread the message beyond our own school walls. The generous support of Return-It puts us in a position to build on that educational work going forward.”

The club’s green initiatives also include making reusable beeswax cloth to replace plastic, cleaning up local parks, and volunteering on invasive species removal and fish hatchery programs.

Heritage Woods secondary plans to use the prize money to expand its school garden, and develop a biodegradable or reusable container program for its cafeteria.

Return-It is a federally-incorporated, not-for-profit, product stewardship corporation that recycles beverage containers, among other things.

Last year, SD43 purchased 1,200 sets of bins for a program to separate food waste, bottles, cans and paper for collecting and recycling.

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