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Tompkins School to be recognized as role model in going green


RESERVE MINES — A local school will be recognized provincially Wednesday for being role models in going green.

Tompkins Elementary School, Reserve Mines, will receive the 'School of the year' award from the Resource Recovery Fund Board in Halifax during the 16th annual Mobius Awards of Environmental Excellence.

"It's about the initiative the kids made in making a positive environmental change," said John White.

White, a skilled trades instructor at Glace Bay High School, was a Grade 5 teacher at the school last year and team leader for the student's green program.

"We are tickled pink," he added.

"I will be going up to accept the award along with the principal Kelly McNenly and we'll be taking two students up with us."

White said in the near future, a rally to celebrate will be held at the school.

"We will be holding the rally to present the award to the kids."

The green initiative began at the elementary school last year with a group of students upset over garbage on the school grounds.

The students discovered, although garbage was collected in the lobby, staff, and lunchrooms, it was not being collected in the classrooms. So the group began collecting it daily. As a result, garbage was going down and recyclables were going up.

The school teamed up with Green Schools Nova Scotia and contacted ACAP and had a goal to keep reducing garbage and increasing recyclables throughout the year.

The students even did a video and an awareness program on recycling and made a presentation to the school.

During the assembly, the group challenged teachers, staff and students to join the Green Team and the event ended with students and staff signing a banner pledging to go green and put on their green shirts together, creating a sea of green in the auditorium.

The students held many activates through the year including cleaning up areas of the community and sending memos home to parents showing the dollar value in savings using reusable, recyclable containers.

White said the students did an incredible job.

"When they first did their study, they found 76 per cent of their garbage was going into landfill. By the time they finished their interventions, they had that down to 32 per cent, the rest was recyclables."

RRFB was established in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization, operating at "arms-length" from government. It administers many important waste diversion programs such as the province's bottle, tire and paint recycling programs.

Officials with the RFFB said the winners in each category will be announced on Tuesday. Categories include: Business of the Year, Institution of the Year,

School of the Year, Innovation in Waste Reduction,

Waste Reduction Education, Individual Excellence in Waste Reduction, and Best Community-Based Project.

smontgomery@cbpost.com

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