April 25, 2014

Citizens of the Week: Pleasant Grove recyclers

Recycling is a big deal among local schools, but one Whitfield County school has risen to the top of the pack in terms of pounds of recyclables per student.

Pleasant Grove Elementary School during March collected an average of 18.2 pounds per student of recyclable materials. That’s nearly 8,700 pounds of mixed paper and plastic bottles that aren’t going to a landfill.

“Pleasant Grove Elementary School has been one of the top recyclers since the fall of 2008 when the Target Recycling at School program was initiated by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority,” said Liz Swafford, who coordinates the recycling program in local schools.

Swafford said Pleasant Grove Elementary has been among the top five recycling schools every month this school year. Program participants include every school in the Dalton Public Schools and Whitfield County Schools systems plus a few private schools.

“PGE has been part of the top five schools each month,” Swafford said. “From August to March they have collected 51,330 pounds of recyclables, which is 109 pounds per student.”

Slightly ahead in terms of overall recycling and only a step behind in number of pounds recycled per student is New Hope Middle School, which has prevented 57,740 pounds of materials from going to landfills for a rate of 106 pounds per student.

Michael Foxx, the operations manager for the Solid Waste Authority’s material recovery facility, said Pleasant Grove’s program involves having parents and community members bring recycling from outside the school to contribute to the program.

Foxx said the schools program is important not only for each campus but also because students take what they’ve learned and teach their families how to recycle at home.

We encourage all the local schools to keep up the good work in the recycling program. For being the March leaders in that effort, The Daily Citizen names the recyclers at Pleasant Grove Elementary School Citizens of the Week.

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