LOUDON — The students of Loudon Elementary spent a rainy day, Nov. 6, learning the rules of recycling by conducting a school waste audit, known as Trash On the Lawn Day, in their school gym. Gwen Erley, Sarah McGraw and Lindsay Dow from Northeast Resource Recovery Association’s School Recycling CLUB, trained 252 students how to identify and pull recyclables from a sampling of typical school trash. They were assisted by the school’s Environmental Kids Club along with special guests members of the Loudon Recycling Committee.
Outfitted with recyclable RightCycle gloves, each group of students weighed, sorted bins, then weighed again several bags of trash. When sorting was complete, students had a visual record of how much trash could be diverted from the landfill. While there was not a lot of waste, an indicator of good recycling, the students saw opportunities to improve their efforts. The students asked lots of questions and learned about how diverting recyclables and reducing food waste saves energy, natural resources and landfill space. Members of the Loudon Recycling Committee clarified the recycling rules at the transfer station for home recycling, which differ somewhat from the school’s recycling policy.
Loudon Elementary fourth grade teacher Brandon Raymond heads up the LES Environmental Kids Club, who spearheaded the event. He set the schedule, organized the class rotations, and supervised student helpers throughout the day. Other Loudon Elementary teachers also helped keep students focused.
Special thanks to Custodian Larry Hewey, who provided assistance with logistics such as covering the gym floor, setting up tables and chairs, finding outlets and setting up the cleanup location. This event would not have been possible without the support and assistance of Principal Catherine Masterson, who was instrumental in overseeing the all-day educational event.
The event was free for the school, from funding provided by the Loudon Recycling Committee and a grant from New Hampshire the Beautiful.