An Andover school traded its cafeteria trash cans for sets of recycling and composting stations this week as part of an ongoing effort to get students town-wide to think green.
After a similar effort saw success at Andover High School this past year, the school is now using sets of bins aimed at sorting trash into several categories, including recyclable plastic, compostables and liquids.
The effort was started by Andover High School alumnus Hannah Krieger and continued by the school’s Environmental Club following her departure. Last week, the club passed the recycling torch on to a green team at Wood Hill Middle School in a school-wide assembly.
“One of our big mottos is ‘take care of one another,’ but it isn’t just taking care of one another. It’s taking care of the Earth, taking care of what’s around us,” Wood Hill Principal Patrick Bucco said. “This is kind of an offshoot of that.”
The school’s health classes will set up a rotation for students to man the individual stations and ensure that kids are sorting their trash like they should be, according to Dina Roumeliotis, Environmental Club member and public relations intern for Sustainable Andover.
The transition from using a single barrel for trash to sorting won’t be seamless, but the school is ready to make the effort, according to Bucco.
“Seamless? Doubtful,” he said. “But we’ll get seamless eventually. We know there’s going to be some pain and some mistakes along the way, but we’ll get through that. Starting is the biggest thing.”
The end-goal of the sorting effort is to reduce how much trash the town passes on to incinerators. While the town pays to have its trash burned by the pound, removing compostables, liquids and more from that can reduce what the town pays for the service.