Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Madison Students Launch Citywide Recycling Initiative For Plastic Caps

Posted by John Peck in General

A group of Madison City students launched a new recycling initiative that could have huge environmental benefits and spread to other communities as well.
Discovery Middle students Puja Chopade, Neha Chopade and Timothy Zhu (L-R in the photo), won a STEM grant for their “Columbia Green” team to expand and raise awareness on the proper recycling of plastic caps.
Students beside yellow recycling bin in front of fire station
Puja Chopade, Neha Chopade and Timothy Zhu, with Madison Fire Battalion Chief Steve Perry

The students discovered in their research that the recycling firm in charge of taking the contents of the blue curbside bins does not accept plastic caps from drink bottles and other containers.
The caps often make their way into waterways, trash and landfills. “Either way, there is a negative environmental impact since there is no proper recycling for plastic caps in our community,” the students told the Madison City Council which recognized them for their activism.
Madison Mayor Paul Finley and council members praised the students for their research and for taking the initiative to make a difference.
The grant helped pay for yellow collection bins that have been distributed at all Madison fire stations, and a public awareness campaign to boost citizen participation in the recycling effort.
Items for the yellow bins should include plastic caps from any container including drink bottles, toothpaste, shampoo caps, ketchup and mayonnaise lids, and many others.
Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker said the recycling initiative is yet another example of Madison students being among the brightest and most innovative in the nation. “I’m so proud of them and proud of our schools that teach and inspire our kids. The future is in good hands with students like these.”
Beena Chopade, the Team Advisor thanked Mayor Finley for helping make the project a reality. (Click the following link for a WHNT-19 story on the students):
"Today, when some of our country's leaders doubt human impact on the environment, it is refreshing and very encouraging to find a progressive and supportive leader in a small town of Madison, Ala, who did not think twice to back the leaders of
tomorrow in their endeavor to enlighten every resident of Madison to do their part for their environment.”
The team participated in the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) eCybermission Challenge and won first in State of Alabama in the 6th-grade division and also was first in the Southeast region of United States. They were also National Finalists.
The recycle bins are located at all Madison City Fire Stations: 101 Mill Road, 1227 Hughes Road, and 12266 County Line Road. Once full, the bottle caps will be transported to a warehouse in Huntsville, then transported to K.W. Plastics in Troy, Ala. to be recycled.
The team thanks the city, school system and Board of Education President Ranae Bartlett for their support and encourages the citizens to join them in this recycling effort..
See this YouTube video on the plastic caps recycling project:
Students with advisor Beena Chopade at the Madison Council Meeting
Students with the team's mentor at the Madison City Council Meeting

Do's and don'ts flyer on plastic recycling

This is a promotional flyer for the public on proper recycling of plastic lids and caps





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