Students at Bookcliff Middle School Go Green
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A group of students at Bookcliff Middle School in Grand Junction is dreaming of going green and achieving a zero waste kitchen.
Just five years ago, School District 51 had no uniform recycling program.
However, over the last couple of years, schools like Bookcliff have made huge strides in becoming more eco-friendly.
"We started this whole line because we are trying to get our school into recycling," said Jarrett Bashman, president of the M.E.S.A. Club at Bookcliff Middle School.
The middle school’s M.E.S.A. Club set out to change the way the school recycles in its cafeteria, and in just a month the school has already seen a difference.
"As a whole, we are trying to divert as much waste out of the landfill as possible, so that's why we are doing this," said Tara Martinez, member of the M.E.S.A. Club.
The students saw there was a lot more trash being generated in the dining hall than in the classrooms.
As a result, they started up a composting program right in the cafeteria; they separate things like liquids, chip bags and glass into different containers so they can all be recycled in their own way.
“We’re just looking to make this a habit for the kids so they know what is able to be composted, what’s able to be recycled and what is trash,” said Lee Harrison, a teacher at Bookcliff Middle School.
The school has already seen a 64 percent decrease in the amount of trash being produced.
School officials say they used to recycle only 14 percent but are now recycling 40 percent because of the new program.
“If we do nothing now, then it's going to be too late by the time we grow up and see that the whole planet is trashed,” said Bashman.
School officials say if this new student-driven program continues to show success they will implement the lineup in all schools across the district.
By recycling, the district saves nearly $24,000 a year, which is money that they put right back into the school district.