This past December, two of Pathway’s 8th-grade students, Eli and Hezekiah, took on the project of making Pathway’s recycling program more visible and more robust as part of their school Merit project. They both want to see The Pathway School become more “eco-friendly”.  With the guidance and support of their teacher, Mrs. Dobbins, Eli and Heze have been doing quite a lot to make recycling a bigger priority for Pathway students and staff. The students started by conducting a school-wide inventory of recycling bins on campus. They then ordered 45 additional bins to be placed, where needed, in classroom buildings and offices throughout campus. With the help of Pathway’s corporate partner, J. P. Mascaro and Sons, the students then distributed literature to educate students and staff about what can be recycled, as well as activity packets to help everyone understand the importance of recycling while making it fun to learn about!  A laminated visual poster was created with information about “single-stream” recycling to place above each bin, and Eli also created a video commercial, featuring fellow 8th-grade student, Aidan, that was included in Pathway’s weekly news broadcast – Pathway Today News.  They even created a visual aid for the cafeteria, which is near the trash and recycling cans, to show exactly which items can be recycled and which cannot.

When asked why this was an important Merit project to tackle, Eli said “Up until now there was no real motivation for people here to recycle and the students hadn’t really been educated on why it is so important to recycle.”  Eli further explained that recycling is important for many reasons, including reducing what goes into trash landfills and helping the environment, wildlife, and ocean life.  Eli shared that he was initially concerned that the recycling effort wouldn’t go too far but he has been very pleased with the progress so far.

Eli says, “On our current track, as long as we continue to educate everyone about the importance to the planet of recycling, the program should continue to do very well.”  When asked what other ideas they have to improve the program and recycling on campus, Eli replied “We hope to get Pathway’s younger students to learn more about recycling, to be motivated, and to really participate in recycling both here at Pathway as well as at home or wherever they may be.”

Congratulations to Eli and Heze for their amazing work on this Merit project and for elevating the importance of recycling here at Pathway – great job, guys!