What: Adding a single stream recycling program and educating students and congregation.
Why: To improve their environmental impact and use recycling as a learning tool for everyone.
How: Worked with the MN Waste Wise Foundation to implement a recycling strategy and utilize grant funding to obtain free bins and signs.
Results: Diverting nearly 18,000 pounds of recyclable materials from their waste stream on an annual basis.
In the spring of 2015 Woodcrest Baptist Academy’s Principal, Loren Isaacs met with the MN Waste Wise Foundation to identify strategies for implementing a recycling program to improve their environmental impact and get students engaged with recycling. As it was the end of the school year, Isaacs was focused on having a comprehensive program in place for the coming 2015/2016 school year.
The first obstacle for Woodcrest was simply finding a way to fit a new recycling dumpster in their small waste enclosures. Ace Solid Waste was able to work with Woodcrest to ensure a small 3-yard dumpster would fit in one enclosure and reduce trash from two 4-yard dumpsters to one 6-yard dumpster.
With recycling services in place, Woodcrest looked forward to the task of collecting recyclables inside the school and church. To ensure they had the bins and signs to educate their students and congregation, Waste Wise helped Isaacs apply for Anoka County’s business recycling grant. This grant program afforded Woodcrest the opportunity to obtain industry standard bins and signs at absolutely no cost.
So with the bins, signs, and hauling service in place, the only thing left to do was educate everyone from teachers and students to volunteers and church-goers. Students were informed of the new recycling program on the first day of classes and notices are periodically placed in church bulletins to educate the congregation. “The students have caught on very quickly, and they have caught on well,” commented Principal Isaacs. “Everyone has had to change some of their habits, but we are all willing to try to do the right thing and recycle.”
Woodcrest’s results are easy to see with full recycling bins throughout the school and students actively paying attention to where their waste belongs. With the new recycling program in place Woodcrest Baptist Church and Academy will be diverting an estimated 17,792 pounds of recyclable material from their waste stream every year. “We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but we needed a bit of help to get started. I’m thankful for the help of Waste Wise and Anoka County,” said Principal Isaacs.