Junior Honor Society Students Pass the Baton on to Continue Recycling Program

A continuing program started by past members of the Arnold Junior Honor Society (JHS) has resulted in a staggering amount of paper and plastic bottles that aren’t ending up in the landfill.

The recycling program at the school started as a 9th grade HS project two years ago. Jadeyn Bubak was president, Landyn Cole was vice-president, Bailey Schwarz was secretary, and other members were Kylee Lehmkuhler, Kacee Dvorak, Sam Cool, and Cooper Atkins.

“I asked them to look around the school and reflect upon their elementary and junior high years to see what they would like their new focus to be. They all remembered recycling activities that they did in elementary school during Mrs. Crow’s class. This also happened to be the time Mrs. Crow was talking about retiring in two more years. They decided that they wanted to try and implement a recycling program that would honor her and their previous activities,” said JHS sponsor Debby Moninger.

Landyn, Bailey and Jayden ended up being the co-chairs that year, and made a goal to put recycling boxes at each of the printers. They decorated the boxes because they felt that a hand-designed box would get better recognition. The National Honor Society was also focusing on recycling by applying for a grant for a hydration station, so students would refill their water bottles to reduce plastic bottles. With this in mind, they decided to add plastic bottle recycling. There are two recycling cans for plastic bottles – one close to the pop machine and exit, and one in the commons room for shacks. Whenever there is an outside game, the recycling can is moved from the lunchroom to the outside shack.

As time passed during their freshman year, the co-chairs decided it would be a good idea to expand on the paper recycling by putting boxes in the classrooms. There are currently boxes in each elementary room and most secondary rooms. Landyn and Jadeyn also designed ads for the sporting programs to remind fans to recycle, and a bulletin board to update students on totals. Even though they graduated from JHS, they continue recognizing the work as writers of the newsletter.

A new group of freshmen took on the challenge this year. RayLee Downing, Stella Lewis, Faith Bierman, Shayla Tickle, Colbi Smith, and Reagan Cool continued with the recycling program to expand it and focus on consistency.

“Consistency was a real challenge due to weather and the impact upon the schedule, especially the second semester,” said Mrs. Moninger. “The recycling program has really shown leadership potential as the students work together and balance their service commitment with school. The staff definitely notices when students have found ways to manage the recycling. It’s not the most glamorous service project, but makes huge difference on the environment. I tend to notice other schools that also recycle when I’m at sporting events. As more and more schools focus on their area, the ripple effect could be amazing!”

Article By: Janet Larreau

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