Bush, Whitman Honor Young Environmentalists

It's not every day you get to talk trash with the president. But several students recently were honored by President George W. Bush and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman for their waste management achievements.

At the April 18 ceremony, 30 students received the 2001 President's Environmental Youth Awards for environmental projects ranging from a composting system to recycling education.

Stonington High School, Pawcatuck, Conn., students created a documentary on recycling and a waste-to-energy plant. The school also has a program that teaches elementary school students about recycling.

At Reeds Spring High School in Reeds Spring, Mo., students created the “R” project to reduce, reuse, recycle and respect. The project's integrated waste management program includes a no-discharge, in-vessel organic composting system for food waste, paper, grass, leaves, wood chips and other organic materials. The project also encourages classroom composting education.

A third project at Roosevelt Elementary School, Mesa, Ariz., involves students from the Protect the Earth Club who are identifying environmental needs in the school community and educating their peers about protecting the environment in areas such as recycling, air quality and household hazardous waste management.