Purdy recycling program honored

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Purdy High School Spanish Club has received an Outstanding School Recycling Program award from the Missouri Recycling Association (MORA). Gerry Wass, program sponsor, and Jordan Justus, club president, accepted the award at MORA's annual awards luncheon, which was held in Branson on May 13.

According to a MORA press release, Purdy's recycling program was recognized as the small school district that demonstrated the most outstanding long-term, diverse recycling and waste reduction program.

The school was nominated for the award because of its commitment to recycling throughout the school district and the community, said Joyce Stroud, of the Region N Solid Waste Management District.

"We are still really just getting started, as we do not yet have our own building and we constantly deal with all sorts of space problems and processing inefficiencies," said Wass. "We hope to do much better in the future."

The Purdy High School Spanish Club began collecting recyclable materials in January of 2006. The program was developed to give students an opportunity to participate in a community service project that would also help the environment. This year, over 20 students participated in the recycling program.

"Time varies but a lot of the students will have over 50 hours of community service through the program," said Wass.

This year, the recycling program collected nearly 100,000 pounds of recyclable materials, including #1 and #2 plastics, cardboard, tin and aluminum cans, white paper, catalogs, newspapers and books.

"We do not accept glass but hope to someday if we can find a market for it," said Wass.

During the 2007-08 school year, the Spanish club was able to raise funds to construct a building for the recycling program. The club members hope to break ground on the project later this summer.

"It's important to give people a chance to do something locally about global environmental problems and to train young people to be environmental leaders by combining a good business model with community service," said Wass. "We make it fun too."

The Purdy High School Spanish Club will hold its next community collection day from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 7. The July collection day will be held on July 12.

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