DSBN Students Lay Waste to Trash

DSBN high school students are intent on keeping waste out of local landfills. Since April, students have been engaged in activities to increase their school’s diversion rates and reduce their collective carbon footprint.

Dubbed the DSBN Environmental Challenge, the initiative was the creation of the Board’s Student Trustee Senate. The challenge asked students to take a comprehensive look at how their schools are doing managing waste and implementing measures to improve their recycling rates. The challenge took place beginning in April and lasted through the end of May.

The winners, announced during Canadian Environment Week June 1 – 7, are Stamford Collegiate in Niagara Falls (first place), Sir Winston Churchill in St. Catharines (second) and St. Catharines Collegiate (third).  The winning school will be given the choice of adding a water bottle filling station or a waste station to their school.

At the outset of the challenge, students began by doing an audit of the waste produced at their school. From there, students worked to raise awareness of the importance of reducing waste and developing initiatives to support increased recycling. At the conclusion of the challenge another audit will be conducted to determine the school that was the most successful in its efforts.

Stamford students identified that far too many items that could be recycled were being thrown in the garbage. Students decided to raise awareness of the recycling program by placing clearly marked recycling bins in high traffic areas in the school to make it easier for students to participate. Through their efforts, Stamford students increased their diversion rate over 14%.

“The student senate was very excited about this initiative,” said Tara Lundy, DSBN Student Trustee. “Although this was a competition, all students and schools benefited from their participation.

“By taking part in these waste reduction efforts, students will also develop positive habits that will allow them to continue their efforts at home and in their communities,” said Courtney Steingart, DSBN Student Trustee.