ictoria schools, two on the West Shore in particular, have come together to earn recognition for being the most recycling friendly community in B.C.
More than 27 Victoria area high, middle and elementary schools registered their recycling efforts with Encorp Pacific’s B.C. School Recycling Program and have come out on top for communities in the province. The second highest community was Surrey, with 18 schools.
In total, Victoria schools collected $33,437.73 in refund deposits in the 2011/2012 school year. The money goes directly back into the schools that earned it and schools that win certain categories in Encorp’s contest also win prize money.
Schools on the West Shore played a big part in Victoria’s overall success.
View Royal elementary collected 84,667 containers and came second in its enrollment category of 151 to 300 students.
Refunds on the containers totaled just over $6,000 and they won a further $750 for the second place finish.
Dunsmuir middle school came in second in its enrollment category of 501 to 750 students. The school collected 29,037 containers for a total of $1,479.95 in deposit refunds. The students won an additional $750 for their efforts.
The Bottle Depot will also be matching the $750 prize money going to the school.
Dunsmuir’s Life Skills program students have taken on the challenge and about 12 of them do all of the school’s recycling, with the help of program teacher Erin Larson.
“The kids are really good about it,” said Larson. “It’s very rewarding, it’s a good part of our program.”
The money the students raise goes towards outings for the Life Skills program. Using money earned collecting recycling the students have gone to parks, the Royal B.C. Museum, the Luxton Fall Fair, the movies, bowling and other fun activities. They also used the money to buy foods and supplies for the Goldstream Food Bank.
The students say they’re proud to make a difference in their school and for the environment. They have taken the lessons learned at school home too, and make sure to spread the word about its benefits.
“If we didn’t do the recycling at all I’m betting there would be a whole bunch of recycling in the landfills,” said Vincent King, Grade 8.
Every Tuesday and Thursday students go through the school emptying recycling bins set up in hallways and in all 24 classrooms. On Friday afternoon the students sort, count and bag everything they’ve collected, which then gets picked up from the school by The Bottle Depot. The students recycle cans, bottles, juice boxes, glass and all other recyclable containers.
The school also has a composting program, organized by teacher Tim May, where students collect foods scraps and exchange them for new soil that is used in the school’s landscaping.
“It’s really nice to see a lot of the kids motivated,” said May. “They’re doing something positive, not only for the school but also bringing it in to the community.”