Recycling Project Moves Out of the Class

By Beacon Staff

4th graders at Bigfork Elementary are serious about recycling – and they’re urging the rest of the district to follow suit.

Last year teacher Darcey Pierce’s 4th grade class started recycling paper, aluminum, and cardboard. They’ve continued the project, and expanded it, but, as Pierce told a recent School Board meeting, they need some help.

“The cardboard is kind of taking over the hallway,” Pierce said. She presented a petition (on some to-be-recycled cardboard) signed by students, and several of her students spoke. They proposed getting a cardboard recycling bin for the whole district at a cost of $50 each month, and a one-time $45 delivery fee.

“We should recycle because it’s good for the earth,” 4th grader Cade Burrington read from his essay. He pointed out two specific reasons – cutting pollution and saving space in the landfill.

“Cardboard can be recycled 7-times before removed as sludge,” 4th grader Wilson Vogt read from her essay. She added “one reason why we should have a bin is so we don’t have to rely on parents to drive it to the bin.”

Teacher Marilynn Richter applied for a $500 grant from the Waste Not Project to help with costs: the money would buy the big blue bins for the schools so the students could collect cardboard, and wheel it up to the recycling bin where once a week Evergreen Disposal would pick it up.

Garbage is picked up by Allied Waste, Pierce said they do not handle the cardboard recycling. She also mentioned they would look into getting money for the school per pound of cardboard picked up by Evergreen Disposal.

School Board Chairwoman Maureen Averill said the board did not need to formally approve the proposal, and with the boards agreement, they gave the administration the go-ahead.

“We think it’s great,” said Averill, “make it so.”