The Gleaner

Recycling challenge inspires students at HAECC

Staff at the Huntingdon Adult Education and Community Center (HAECC) have come up with a unique approach to encouraging their students to be more environmentally conscious. They are partnering with the Genie in a Bottle Project.

The non-profit Genie in A Bottle Project collects donations of empty wine and alcohol bottles, soft drink tabs, bread tabs, corks, plastic and metal tops from bottles, dead batteries, and light bulbs. All donations are sent to the Ontario alcohol commission to be recycled. The money is collected, and all the proceeds are returned to the community to support different community organizations and causes in the area.

The staff at HAECC have created a “Six Week Zero Waste” challenge for the students. Every week, the students are challenged to collect and bring in a different recyclable item. The class that collects the most recyclable items will receive $100 that can be put toward whatever prize they choose, such as a pizza party, for example.


Students at the Huntingdon Adult Education and Community Centre are competing to see which class can bring in the most recyclable material during the schools Six Weeks Zero Waste challenge PHOTO Julie Elder


When asked about the objectives behind this challenge, teacher Marie Claire Charlebois said, “The idea is to educate the school community to recycle better, to reduce the waste in landfills, to encourage better recycling habits, and to support an extremely giving cause. Just 26 little blue bins of soft drink tabs can be repurposed into a wheelchair for a child. There is a lot of good that can come out of what we are doing.”

“In terms of our secondary objective, the Green Committee is working on developing a project. Using the funds that have been donated by Genie in a Bottle over the past year, we want to build a recycling station that will be set up in our centre for the school community. By raising awareness among the students and the team at the school, our recycling station will be well used, and the results will be all the more interesting,” said Charlebois.

As for the community being able to access the future recycling centre, HAECC is not quite ready for this just yet. However, as they develop their recycling expertise, Charlebois says they hope to be able to welcome the community in the future.


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