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High Schooler’s Recycling Program is a Success Three Years Later


Recycle BuildingA high school student in Branford, Connecticut started a local recycling program during her sophomore year in high school, and three years later it is till successful. So successful, in fact, that the program paid for itself this year. The program was the first of its kind in the state of Connecticut.

Etta Hanlon is now a senior, and the recycling program still works in a simple and insightful way: with the help of the Solid Waste department, Hanlon put together “holiday sacks” for students at local schools to take home to their families. The students then bring the bags back full of wrapping paper and the multitude of other recyclable materials that usually end p in the trash.

The first year, the recycling program collected 15-18 tons.

The town applied for a grant from the Department fo Energy and Environment Protection, who si currently still deciding. The pressure is on in Connecticut, however, as the state has recently mandated that the state must raise recycling from 30% to 60%.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Connecticut since unreasonably ambitious renewable energy targets don’t always turn out so well.

Amongst all the political chaos, however, Hanlon has learned a lot through her experience with the recycling program and says she has greatly improved her public speaking, management, and organizing. Not only does she have great ideas for new programs, but she clearly has the ability to make them happen and make them successful.

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