HENDERSON – Fourth graders from Sheryl Elliott’s class at Dabney Primary School took part in a presentation about waste and recycling on March 22. Jeannette Metzger and Jean Bell of the Woodland Garden Club offered students ways to improve their environment and keep Vance County clean.
Metzger began by helping students define recycling: the collection and processing of materials that would be thrown away but can be turned into reusable items or new products. Everyone was encouraged to look at their surroundings to find ways to implement the EPA’s recycling logo, which was demonstrated on a poster of the Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
She explained an avoidable act: throwing garbage. Each student received two garbage bags to put in their car. They had to watch the side of the road on their way home from school, looking for ways to stop litter. Vance County Ordinance 30 was also shared with students notifying them of a $1,000 litter fine.
The children received handouts in their bags explaining recycling in Vance County. Recycling bins are provided at various drop-off sites, one specifically for recyclables and the others for trash, metal, etc. Students discussed what can and cannot be recycled. Waste Industries, also known as GFL, disposes of solid waste by truckload to a landfill in Person County. Recyclables are transported by truck to Sunoco, a recycling center in Raleigh. All of these costs come from our taxes. To avoid more expense for the county, everyone should recycle.
Many suggestions for items to recycle were offered by the students with some sharing ideas for reusing water bottles, paper, milk cartons, glass bottles and containers, and much more. Metzger shared items from his household recycling container. This sparked more talk about helping our environment, especially Vance County.
Plastic bags are harmful to the environment. It was pointed out that collecting these bags and returning them to the store will be helpful. Photos were shown to the students of the program “Planet or Plastic? from National Geographic. Website verifying the harm caused to animals and the ocean by plastics. He was encouraged to reuse items whenever possible, asking for paper bags and using cloth bags or boxes when grocery shopping.
After the presentation, the class participated in a recycling/reuse craft. Colored plastic bags were cut into strips and shaped into flowers then placed in recycled “vases” (glass syrup containers from Cracker Barrel). The class was encouraged to give their bouquet to someone special.
Dabney students learned that reducing waste through recycling will help Vance County become a better place to live.