CROOKSVILLE – The Perry Count Waste Reduction and Recycling program congratulates the Alpha School for receiving the 2021 top prize in the Green School Challenge. This past school year Perry County Waste Reduction and Recycling decided to change it up a bit and invite all Perry County schools to participate. KUDOS to Alpha and Glenford Elementary for participating during one of the most challenging school years ever faced in modern history.

The goal of the Green School Challenge is to get schools to acknowledge existing sustainability practices regarding solid waste issues within their building, as well as move in a positive direction to reduce existing wasteful habits where possible. Alpha science teacher Jeff Baker estimates that last school year they diverted roughly 3,600 pounds of waste from going to landfill due to reuse habits and recycling efforts.

This year’s award was a water refill station, which went to Alpha School. PCWR&R extends thanks to WM, Inc. for consistently supporting its Challenge projects each year. Since so many schools received COVID-19 funding to get much needed “no-touch” water refill stations in the past year, the next 2022 prize may be different – and is soon to be announced.

The Green School Challenge encourages schools to tackle a REAL WORLD Problem involving solid waste. Did you know over 50% of trash can be recycled – and this doesn’t even count what can be reduced and reused. Less than 10% of total waste got recycled in Perry County in 2021. Over 53,332 pounds of discarded “small” trash was picked up by PCWR&R’s litter crew, along with 1,357 tires and 467 pieces of large items like furniture, TVs, mattresses, etc., collected from county & township roads in 2021.

Along with problem solving, The Green School Challenge is an opportunity for schools to exercise communication skills, plus connect to civic responsibility simply by participating.

Challenge Rules are to complete the guide sheet, compile your school’s score, and submit entry to the PC Waste Reduction and Recycling Office! Any Perry County teacher/student/administrator can submit the entry form, but only 1 entry per building is accepted. The school principal must sign off to approve their school’s entry.

Schools are asked to assign points on the honor system. There are a set number of points possible referencing a brain stormed list of sustainable waste reduction practices such as proper recycling, reuse practices, safe food “share tables”, encouraging a weekly “waste free lunch day”, etc.

Bonus points are awarded for documenting a formal waste audit (waste investigation) within your school. Additional bonus points can be earned by creating a 30-second “Waste Less” TikTok-like video, along with submitting a photo of a creative recycle art exhibit to be displayed at the April 25, 2022 Earth Day Awareness Celebration at Mount Aloysius. All schools, clubs, organizations and businesses are invited to participate. Perry County’s 2022 Earth Day is for everyone in the surrounding community to attend.

For more details visit www.perryrecycling.com.

Green School Challenge Deadline to submit: April 15, 2022! Contact us for details! kcarpenter@perrycountyohio.net

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