Holly's Green STARS

Holly's 5 STAR Plastic Recycling Program

School: Holly Elementary

Votes Received: 15

Holly's Grade 5's started a one of a kind, innovative Plastic Recycling Program at Holly Elementary in Surrey, BC. It began at the end of '07/08, became rooted last year and is now run mostly by the students. The school recycles 5 types of plastics: hard, soft, foil lined bags, milk cartons and black styrofoam. Two thirds of the students are on the lunch program hence these recyclables are guaranteed to be in our waste stream. Our garbage has been greatly reduced and each classroom is equipped with a 5 drawer recycling system. 5 Star Recyclers include students from upper intermediate grades, pick up materials from the classrooms twice a week and students within the classes maintain the bins. Even the k's participate. The 5 STAR Recyclers run all kinds of programs throughout the year to generate funds to pay for the monthly pick-ups, they have been in the newspaper, won district-wide waste reduction competitions and students are dedicated to reducing their waste. Staff are on board, administration is fully supportive and students are gaining skills in leadership, social responsibility and environmental stewardship. The community has been very supportive including businesses which students have elicited support from. Lastly, students have partaken in educating the community through organizing events at Guildford Mall and the school, showcasing our Plastic Recycling Program. The students have taken it on and are making decisions about how to best run and maintain the program. Next year, the Plastic Recycling Committee will also be taking over the refundable bottle return program. Refundable containers such as juice boxes are generated from the school’s lunch program. Hence, the system will be self-sufficient, in that funds generated from the return of refundable containers from the lunch program will go to pay for the monthly pick-ups of the recyclable plastics also generated from the school lunch program. We encourage other schools to take up the challenge and we will continue pursuing ours!

Mentors Consulted

Mary Gibbons, Principal Holly Elementary


Climate Change
Sustainable Development
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