For the second year, several Brandon schools will be competing to see who can keep the most trash out of the garbage dump.
In conjunction with National Waste Reduction Week (Oct.15-21), the city launched its second annual Waste Reduction School Challenge on Monday.
This year’s challenge will see eight classrooms at King George School, Betty Gibson School, Riverheights School, Green Acres School and George Fitton School participating in a two-week long collection of garbage and waste.
Each classroom will challenge itself to divert as much garbage from the city’s landfill as possible by identifying collected garbage as either waste, various recycling materials or compostable materials.
“The purpose of the challenge is to engage and educate students about waste reduction, and the impact waste has on our environment,” said Lindsay Hargreaves with the City of Brandon’s environmental initiatives division.
“Each classroom in the challenge will sign a pledge banner proclaiming, ‘We Think Outside the Bin By …’ and will pledge what waste reduction initiative they will take on and implement throughout the school year, whether it be to start a green team or an organics collection program within the school.
“In doing this, it allows for heightened awareness throughout not only the classroom and school, but also at home.”
George Fitton teacher Heather Stewart said that through her classroom’s participation in last year’s challenge, her students gained an impressive amount of knowledge.
“They really took an interest in recycling and reusing after having had the experience so early in the year,” she said.
“We often wait until around Earth Day to start talking about ways to save our Earth. With this program, we were able to jump right into it and maintain an interest for the full year.”
Prizes are available for the challenge’s winning class and participating teachers. The challenge also features an additional grand prize draw for one lucky student to receive a bicycle from A&L Get Active and the Brandon Environment Committee.
Brandon’s Waste Reduction School Challenge program is made possible through funding from Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba.
“MMSM proudly supports the opportunity to educate our youth on the importance of recycling,” said Sarah Wallace, communications, promotions and education co-ordinator with Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba.
“By implementing programs such as the Waste Reduction Challenge, schools become a hands-on learning environment where students learn to practise the positive behaviour of recycling,” Wallace said.
To learn more about environmental initiatives in Brandon, visit the Brandon Environment Committee’s interactive website at brandonenvironment.ca.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 16, 2012