Anna Fleischer, a senior at Valencia High School, has worked all year to start a recycling program at her campus. Prompted by information she learned in Advanced Placement Environmental Science class, she realized that the opportunity to affect change in her world was available right in front of her. She created an Outdoor Recycling program for bottles and an Indoor Recycling program for paper.
Students at Valencia High School purchase over 1,000 bottles of water and soda every week and these recyclable bottles were going straight into the trash bins. By working with administrators and the Associated Student Body, Anna has pulled together a plan that will remove these bottles from the waste stream and benefit students on campus.
The Special Education students has been selected as the work force for the Outdoor Recycling project for many reasons. Anna hopes that it will give them an important roll as a part of the Valencia student body and that there will be positive interaction between the Special Ed. kids and the general population. They will, of course, be paid and get valuable work experience as well. But Anna knows that they will be helping the planet and they will learn the importance and benefits of recycling.
Details of the OUTDOOR RECYCLING plan:
Brief: Students get one raffle ticket for every plastic bottle or aluminum can they turn into the recycling booths at lunch and brunch. On VTV every Friday, one raffle ticket is drawn, and the winner of the 50/50 raffle gets half of all the money made from recycling that week.
1. Two tables are set up on either end of campus everyday at both brunches, and at lunch
2. Students can bring bottles from school or home to the recycling tables to receive 1 raffle ticket per bottle.
3. Students from Special Education classes have been offered the opportunity to work on campus!!
4. There will be two students working each table. One student will be collecting bottles and putting them in the recycling barrel and the other will be handing out the raffle tickets. The students will be getting work experience, and they will be paid for working the booth, the same salary as the students working in the ASB student store.
5. Money earned by the students will go to fund field trips and other special events for these classes.
6. Los Angeles Conservation Corp will collect the bottles and pay VHS.
7. 50% of the earnings from the week’s recycling will go to the raffle winner, the other 50% will help pay the workers
Details of the INDOOR RECYCLING plan:
Brief: A 20-foot long container (the roll-off) will be placed somewhere on the access road behind the school. There will be a big box for recycling paper and everything else in every classroom. Students will empty the box any time the teacher wishes. The purpose of the indoor recycling program is not to make money from Blue Barrel – but to have a safer and environmentally friendlier alternative to throwing the thousands and thousands of papers, newspapers, cardboards, and everything else recyclable in the trash.
1. There will be one box in every classroom.
2. The box is for all types of recyclable paper: newspaper, cereal boxes, cardboard, grocery bags, magazines, stationary and envelopes, any high grade/uncoated paper, any colored paper.
3. When the roll-off is 3/4 full, a phone call is made to Blue Barrel and a truck will empty the entire thing.
4. Teachers need to keep this going – maybe have kids decorate the box so it looks fun.
5. Remember that reusing paper is even better than recycling it!
6. The school will make a small amount of money from the indoor recycling program and Blue Barrel. For every ton of recyclables collected in the roll-off, the school will receive $35.
Anna Fleischer will continue her studies next year in environmental issues as an Architecture/Interior Design student at University of Missouri, Columbia. Many designers are using environmentally friendly building materials and methods in new construction. Anna’s guiding motto comes from anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Anna is out to change the world, one thousand recycled bottles at a time.