Three schools in the county recognized for recycling efforts, educating peers
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- In a continuing effort to raise awareness and encourage the effort of recycling, the Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department and the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast announced the school recycling awards for the 2012-13 school year.
Enterprise Elementary School in Cocoa, Edgewood Junior/Senior High School on Merritt Island and Heritage High School in Palm Bay each received recognition for their outstanding recycling efforts.
Erin LeClair, special projects manager with the Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department, said this 16-year-old recognition encourages students to educate one another about the importance of recycling.
"It encourages the students to learn more about recycling," she said. "It's not just schools that tell us that their janitor does a great job recycling, it's the ones that have the children who (make the extra effort) and educate their school and peers."
Ms. LeClair said fourth-graders from Enterprise Elementary, a green campus, also participated in an educational video, as part of the "Keep Brevard Beautiful" campaign, in an effort to educate the county about the importance of recycling.
The educational video is then shown to students across the county, Ms. LeClair said.
"(The video) is something I could do, but, when children educate about the importance of recycling, other kids pay attention," she said. "When something is presented from a group of your peers, it makes more of an impact."
Ms. LeClair said this awards' presentation would not be possible without the partnerships between the Solid Waste Management Department and the League of Women Voters, as well as support from the School District.
"Dr. Brian Binggeli, (superintendent of Brevard County Public Schools), feels strongly about recycling," she said. "He encourages people to participate, and what we do is very top-down. It takes an effort from the top to get people to participate."
In the future, Ms. LeClara said she hopes to see every school in the county participate in the recycling program.
"It will be very exciting to see a new, single-stream of recycling at every school in the county," she said.
Organizers said several other schools in the county deserve an honorable mention for their efforts: St. Teresa School in Titusville; Manatee Elementary School in Melbourne; Jupiter Elementary School in Palm Bay; and Space Coast Junior/Senior High School in Cocoa.
The schools (elementary, middle and high) recognized received a plaque, as well as bragging rights as being the top schools in the county that demonstrate the ability to recycle and educate their peers about its importance.