(Chelsea Update would like to thank Laura Scriven and the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority for the information in this story.)
Friday, March 22 was Math and Science Night at Klager Elementary School in Manchester, and Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA) was pleased to be invited to participate.
We were asked to prepare materials to teach the students and their families about recycling to help them become better recyclers.
There was a steady stream of students and parents from 6 p.m., when the doors opened, until 7:50 p.m. when there was a rocket launch planned.
In the WWRA room, an overhead projector showed a film of the new single-stream recycling center on Werkner Road, which showed how co-mingled materials arrive at the site, are loaded onto the line, and then sorted into the appropriate bins.
The film generated many comments and questions from the students.
Updated prices for common recycled materials were posted on the board. And after seeing that aluminum was worth $700 a ton, the students all agreed that they would be carrying home the foil in which their carrot sticks were sent to school.
There were a couple of activities for the students – including a quiz concerning a typical sack lunch and what can and what cannot be recycled.
Most students did well, but a few of the younger ones had no idea that things could be recycled and reused, so the exercise was educational to them.
The other project was a take home one for the students. Each student was given a bit of dirt and some seeds. They were asked to take them home and create a terrarium with a water or soda bottle and ripped up newspaper.
The students learned that the newspaper was to help keep the soil moist and, once it has decomposed, nurture the new plants. And, everyone left with a smile of their face in anticipation of the new garden they were going to plant.
After passing the quiz, watching the film, and studying some of the other materials in the room, students were given a certificate to show their commitment to doing all that they can to help the environment through recycling.
The students had excellent questions about recycling and how the single-stream line worked. They were also very forthcoming with information on how they recycle and how they use items to create artwork.
There are some wonderful books and online sites to help young people understand the importance of recycling and ignite their imagination in repurposing items.
WWRA also announced that tours are currently being offered to groups and clubs at the Werkner Road facility.
If you would like to have a tour of the site, please contact Laura Scriven at [email protected]