Recycling pays — environmentally and financially

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Before you pitch that soft drink can in the garbage, here are some good reasons to recycle it.

  • If, instead of trashing it, you toss that can into a recycling bin, it could be completely recycled and back on the store shelf in just 60 days.
  • Recycling helps to conserve our natural resources and saves energy. Recycling aluminum saves 95 percent of the energy required to produce aluminum from raw materials.
  • Recycling protects the environment, reducing greenhouse gases and lessening our dependence on landfills that emit harmful emissions like methane gas into the earth’s atmosphere.

It’s this kind of information Dallas ISD’s recycling champion, Waste Management Specialist Aaron Rankin, wants to impress on students and staff to persuade us all to do more to recycle items such as paper, cans, bottles and plastic. Rankin wants schools and departments to know he’s ready to help create or support recycling programs, provide training and resources, and increase awareness to jumpstart recycling across Dallas ISD.

The fact is recycling is good for the environment. Last school year, the district recycled 5,880 tons of aluminum, cardboard/paper, plastics and glass with a major payoff in conservation of natural resources, and we’re on target to exceed that figure this school year. Once they learn the environmental and economic benefits of recycling, even young students are getting involved.

Looking for a good reason to organize a recycling project? Rankin suggests you view it as an opportunity to demonstrate that just by throwing items into a recycling bin students are keeping them out of landfills, saving oil, electricity and natural resources like trees. “Recycling teaches us to be better environmental stewards and to be more environmentally conscious,” said Rankin.

Those who are more motivated by financial rewards should know recycling can also pay off in cash. Last May, the district’s waste management vendor presented Skyline High School, William Atwell Middle School and the School for the Talented and Gifted with $1,000 each in recognition of their recycling efforts. The company also awarded three graduating seniors $1,000 scholarships for their active participation in recycling projects. The same rewards await campuses and students who demonstrate a passion for conservation through recycling this school year. To learn how to get your school or department on the recycling bandwagon, contact Aaron Rankin at arankin@dallasisd.org, or (972) 925-5253.

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