More than 300 tons of trash and recyclables arrived by boat to Naval Base Ventura County and was taken to the Del Norte Recycling Center.
JUAN CARLO/THE STAR
Next month, the nonprofit Keep California Beautiful will coordinate the Recycling Challenge, a statewide recycling competition among schools. Cash prizes, paid for by commercial sponsors, will be awarded to schools that place first through fifth in each of 18 categories. That is 90 possible opportunities to win prizes ranging from $1,000 for first place to $100 for fifth place.
Last year, 324 schools entered the competition, and local schools won in multiple categories.
E.P. Foster Elementary in Ventura, for example, won a total of $1,100 after finishing second place in lunch tray recycling (18,296 trays) and finishing third in four other categories: total recycling per capita (43.25 pounds per student); paper recycled, (315.6 pounds); paper recycled per capita (0.71 pounds per student); and lunch trays recycled per capita (41.3 trays per student).
The Academy of Technology and Leadership at Saticoy (ATLAS, previously Saticoy Elementary School) also won last year. The school received $800 for placing second in total recycling per capita (49.35 pounds); second in cardboard lunch trays recycled per capita (47.22 trays); and third in total number of lunch trays recycled (15,912 trays).
Small schools can compete against large ones, as many of the categories measure results on a per-student basis. Last year, the Thacher School, a relatively small, private school in the Ojai Valley, recycled the second-most cardboard on a per capita basis statewide (1.42 pounds) and the most mixed recyclables on a per capita basis (39.45 pounds). Uncharacteristically for a small school, Thacher also took second place last year in the category of total weight for mixed recyclables (14,400 pounds).
Schools may count material generated only during the month of competition and may not include material brought from students’ homes. In February, students, under supervision of school staff or volunteers, weigh or estimate volume, photograph and track material recycled. Many schools do not enter in every category, simplifying data collection.
Schools can register for the competition at www.greencaschool.org.
Eco-Tip is written by David Goldstein, an environmental resource analyst for the Ventura County Public Works Agency. He can be reached at 658-4312 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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