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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

When the Students Take Charge- Oh What Things Can Happen

Congratulations to Ms. Mc Laren's class at Signal Hill Elementary School in Pemberton for holding an extremely successful Waste Reduction Competition! A further congratulations goes to Ms. Siblock's Grade 2-3 class and Ms.Treadway's Grade 5 French Immersion Class who won the competition for producing the least amount of waste in their classrooms for two weeks.
It was the idea of Ms. McLaren's class that they wanted to do something to really help reduce the schools impact on nature. So they started by making a plan regarding how they could convince the other students to not make so much waste.

They decided to have a competition with all of the classes and the winner of each level ( primary,intermediate) would have a pizza party and could watch the movie " Wally" while they ate pizza.
So the class got to work planning, they made posters for each classroom about how to reduce waste and collected enough buckets, thanks to the Pemberton Valley Supermarket and the Pony Espresso to provide each classroom with 4 collection containers for the competition- one for garbage, one for compost, one for paper and one for containers.
At the start of the competition, the students quickly realized that all paper towel could easily be composted so they set up another container at the sink of each class to capture paper towel. Paper towel is very easy to compost as it does not have any smell, attract flies or cause a mess. This was an easy fix.
Next, they realized there was no container for plastics so Carney's Waste System was quickly called who dropped off a plastics bin beside the paper totes in the hallway.
Finally, the students were asked by teachers to have a compost bucket with a lid, because sometimes food waste is a bit messy.

Because of the efforts of Ms. McLarens students, Signal Hill Elementary went from a school with a minimal waste reduction system to now having compost bins in every classroom, recycling containers in every classroom and a good system for removing these items. What started as a small competition to see who could produce the least waste has turned in to a great program for waste reduction.
Three Cheers for all the Students in Ms. McLaren's class for having such a huge impact on Signal Hill Elementary!!

For the Principals and Teachers in SD48. If you would like help starting a similar waste reduction campaign at your school, contact Kathy at I will happily meet with student groups to kick-start a competition!

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