Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The Cutting Edge of Recycling at Montclair High
Montclair High School students, participating in a community service project, have discovered an important way to impact the environment and save money for the town.
The 12 MHS students are working under the auspices of Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), a free academic tutorial and leadership training program of IMPACT Community Development Corporation. In the YLI program, students receive tutoring and other leadership development skills.
YLI students chose, as their community service project, to investigate trash that is currently generated by MHS. They found that 98 percent of the trash at the school is recyclable, with 70 percent being bond paper, 15 percent being newspaper and 8 percent other recyclables.
YLI students conducted a garbage audit at the Department of Public Works (DPW), involving their hands-on analysis of several bags of garbage to see how much of the material could be recycled. They also met with Craig Brandon, Montclair Township’s Recycling Coordinator, and learned that the Town of Montclair could gain a cost savings per year that could be used to fund other departments, such as the DPW or to benefit community and school related activities.
“It was surprising that high school students were interested in recycling,” Brandon said. “What impressed me most was that they did a garbage audit—cutting open the bags, sifting through the
Lucia Crossley, Executive Director of the YLI, explained that the free program is currently funded through a state grant. “If we would put a cost on the program, it would be valued at $3,000.00 for the year per student—and that doesn’t include the value of the computer lab.” With a wait list already filling up for the 2007-2008 school year, previous YLI students are excited about continuing to participate in the program—even during the summer months.