Earth Day is extra special this year for the York High School Eco Club, a 15-member student organization. Since October, this group has worked tirelessly to promote the importance of recycling to their peers and the community. The group was recognized today as a Trex Film Recycling Challenge Champion and awarded $2,500 and a Trex bench by the organization. Notified by an email that stated, “Your hard work and dedication throughout the Plastic Film Recycling Challenge has paid off. From extreme plastic collection to explosive content creation, to incredible community outreach...there was never a dull moment,” the group was recognized today in a virtual ceremony.
The student organization, led by York teacher Robert Blaus, began their project after Mr. Blaus discovered the challenge and knew it would be perfect for the Eco Club. Blaus, who is retiring at the end of this year after 23 years in District 205, said he was inspired to do this with the students because, “I wanted to share with my students and show them that if people do just a little bit, mountains can be moved.”
“We had lots of help from our parents, too,” said Erin Pahl, York student and member of the Eco Club, whose father helped by reaching out to Target and picking up plastic from the retailer. “One day, there was 70 pounds and the loads just kept getting bigger and bigger.” In total, the Eco Club collected 4,442 pounds of plastic.
“I wanted to teach people proper recycling techniques and what you can and can’t recycle - like plastic bags,” shared Madison Brown, York student and president of the Eco Club. “It was really nice to see lots of people dropping things off.”
The group will be utilizing the award money to install two more water bottle fillers in York High School… continuing their efforts to reduce plastic.