Recycling Heroes: Sandston Elementary School

February 8, 2023 | Published by Julie Buchanan

The first morning bell is the cue for members of the Sandston Elementary School Recycling Club to spring into action.

From the cafeteria, the team of five fans out through the building to collect recycling bins from each classroom. The club is responsible for emptying the bins into a large recycling container outside. A recycling company then hauls the material away so it can be recycled into new items — not wasted in a landfill.

School Counselor Colleen Atilano has coordinated the club for about 10 years.

“The kids work hard,” she says. “It’s not the most glamorous task, but they are always ready and motivated to do it.”

At the beginning of the year, Recycling Club members make sure every classroom is equipped with a recycling bin — usually a hand-decorated cardboard box. Through morning announcements, they encourage classmates and teachers to recycle. Shoutouts go to the top recyclers.

“The club gives the kids responsibilities, and it’s teaching them to be conscious about our environment,” Atilano said.

WHAT’S NEXT: The students have their eye on placing a recycling container on the playground.

For their work and dedication, students in the Sandston ES Recycling Club received the CVWMA Recycling Steward patch.

Learn how your group can earn the patch.

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