Keep Golden Isles Beautiful’s annual School Recycling Challenge kicks off this week, offering the community a chance to participate in a non-traditional recycling effort that will reduce landfill waste.
The recycling challenge will take place until Oct. 18, and the public is invited to bring oral care products, cereal bags and pens, markers and highlighters to participating schools. Those plastic items will be collected, weighed and sent to a recycling center.
“By recycling these used items that are normally tossed in the trash, we are able to make an immediate impact on waste reduction,” said Lea King-Badyna, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful executive director, in a statement.
The collected items will be taken to TerraCycle, an organization focusing on non-traditional recycling and eliminating the idea of waste.
“Again this year, the streamlined process makes it easy for participating teachers and schools to concentrate their challenge efforts and contributions towards community stewardship,” King-Badyna said. “We hope schools will find the experience so easy and fun that they will continue recycling non-traditional items via TerraCycle or our office even after this year’s challenge is over.”
TerraCycle melts down the plastic into pellets and reforms those into low-grade plastic products.
The collected items from each school will be weighed, and the schools that collect the most will win prizes. Last year, schools collected a record total of 155 pounds of items, said Christy Trowbridge, executive assistant of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful.
The recycling challenge aims to not only reduce waste in landfills, Trowbridge said, but also educate students about the importance of recycling. This message is also provided to all third grade students in Glynn County through a Keep Golden Isles Beautiful program called “Is Trash Really Trash?”
“It’s been nice to kind of tie this challenge in with that program,” Trowbridge said.
A Hello GoodBuy community grant supports the recycling challenge, and the Episcopal Church Women of Christ Church Frederica have donated to cover the cost of shipping the items.
Thirteen schools are participating in this year’s challenge, and community members wishing to donate can contact Keep Golden Isles Beautiful at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-279-1490 to verify a school’s participation and arrange to drop collected items by the school.