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12:40 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Del Rio Elementary has active recycling club

Members of the Recycling Club at Del Rio Elementary School  in Chino Valley has grown into a powerhouse that saves more than 1,000 milk cartons a day from languishing in the landfill. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the Recycling Club at Del Rio Elementary School in Chino Valley has grown into a powerhouse that saves more than 1,000 milk cartons a day from languishing in the landfill. (Courtesy photo)

Every week at Del Rio Elementary School, students in bright green shirts scurry around the school on a mission. They are members of Del Rio Recycling Club collecting special bins around campus with items to put in trash dumpsters dedicated for recycling. As a large school with 700 students, there were great amounts of paper, cardboard and other recyclable items that had been dumped into trash dumpsters headed for a landfill. But no longer!

This all started with a concerned student four years ago who felt his school should be doing more to help the earth. With the help of his mother, a fifth-grader working on a Girl Scout project, and Del Rio School's Site Council and PTO, small tubs were purchased to place in every classroom and the first recycling efforts started with a small Recycling Club.

Over the years, the size of the Recycling Club grew with other students interested in helping the environment and the collection tubs needed to be swapped out for larger bins due to the schoolwide effort to recycle more. Del Rio School started with one dumpster dedicated for recycling. Now there two dumpsters dedicated for recycling materials and only one other dumpster needed for other trash and garbage that cannot be recycled.

In the past two years, the Recycling Club added efforts to collect empty milk cartons during breakfast and lunch. This puts over 1,000 milk cartons per day into recycling instead of a landfill!

The Recycling Club has been involved in other activities to educate fellow students. Once a week, club members become reporters on "Green News" during live televised morning news called KDRN, or Kids Del Rio Network. The Recycling Club members presented an Earth Day play for other students and led other Earth Day activities.

Plans for next year include partnering with the Yearbook Club to beautify the school campus with more flowers and shrubs, volunteering for a park clean up, and continued recycling efforts and educating others with recycling news. And to think this all started with one thoughtful fourth-grader a few years ago who cares about the earth!

For more information, contact Del Rio Elementary School at 636-4414.