A waste reduction program at Athens Intermediate School in Athens, Ala., is completely run by students and is finding success. The Garbage-to-Garden program was inspired by a class trip and has grown immensely since then.
Student volunteers man the trash bins in the cafeteria, making sure every piece of trash is disposed of properly. Since the program’s launch, the school has significantly reduced the amount of trash sent to the landfill.
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"In a week's time, we would produce about 806 pounds of trash," said AIS Principal Mitzi Dennis. "We're down, averaging about 170 pounds of trash a week."
The idea was inspired by a trip to Camp McDowell, and following some eye-opening lessons about the human impact on the environment, students and teachers came up with a plan. Students wanted to expand their eco-friendly Green Eagles program, and presented their plan to school officials.
That plan includes a set of trash bins in the cafeteria, labeled for different types of trash ranging from plastics, aluminum, etc. and that lineup is manned by AIS student volunteers.
"We're like the hall monitor, we take note of who doesn't put everything in the right bin," said sixth grader Madison Hamilton.