Goshen Intermediate students go for the green, reach for the stars

They're doing their part to reuse, reduce, recycle

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  • Ermin Siljkovic, the county's recycling coordinator, gives pointers to fourth-graders (Photo provided)

  • Ermin Siljkovic, the county's recycling coordinator, with the fourth-grade Green Team (Photo provided)

  • Teacher Teegan Kennedy inspires her fourth-graders to reach for the (green) stars (Photo provided)

— Students in Teegan Kennedy’s fourth-grade class at Goshen Intermediate School are at it again!

The three R’s — reuse, reduce, recycle — have always been important in Kennedy’s class, with students recycling in not only their own classroom but also picking up the recycling in the special area classrooms and the building's offices. This year, however, students are working to earn stars in the Orange County Green Star School Program, which pays tribute to a school’s effort to partake in green practices, like committing to better recycling habits and reducing waste.

Much of this effort is the result of education, and Kennedy has already offered a presentation to the whole school on the importance of recycling. She plans to offer more assemblies throughout the year to keep the students and staff aware of upcoming modifications to their already green practices.

These modifications include:

Reducing waste in the caféteria by recycling items from both caféteria lunches and lunches brought from home.

Adding new recycling bins to the caféteria, as well as a station where students will be able to dump their leftover milk, reducing the overall weight of their trash.

Reducing the space of their waste by having students “tap and stack” their compostable trays.

Encouraging kids to “ditch the straw” to reduce plastic waste.

The best part of the Orange County Green Star School Program program is that students will be “running the show” in the caféteria. A Green Team of students will monitor how their classmates sort and dispose of their waste, and help out where needed.

A waste audit was conducted on Oct. 17 with the guidance of Ermin Siljkovic, recycling coordinator from the Orange County Department of Public Works. The audit will offer a benchmark from which any improvements will be measured.

Now that this first waste audit is complete, Goshen Intermediate School is ready to reach for the stars!

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