Seneca Valley School District Haine, Rowan students in 'Recycle Bowl'

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:35 p.m.

While the Ravens and 49ers will test the weight of their teams in the Super Bowl next week, students from the Seneca Valley School District will be testing the weight of recycled garbage for the Recycle-Bowl — a competition between schools to see who can gather the most recyclables.

Students on the “Green Team” from Haine Middle School — a group organized to promote waste reduction by Allison Stebbins, the fifth grade purpose teacher — spend time one day a week going through 40 classrooms collecting garbage.

Pennsylvania's statewide competition will only be judged based on results from a four-week period starting in October of last year when the students gathered about 3,100 pounds of recyclable material. Winners will receive $1,000 and be entered to participate in a national competition with a grand prize of $2,500 awarded to the winning school. The winners of the Pennsylvania competition will be revealed in early February.

The administration and the students wanted to continue the project past the dates of the statewide initiative and sustained the competition between Rowan Elementary and Haine Middle School.

Every two weeks the classroom that collected the most will receive the “Golden Can” signed by their teacher.

The classroom with the most signatures by Earth Day in April will win a field trip, possibly to a recycling plant so students can see what happens to their gatherings.

“The kids are really competitive,” said Steve Smith, superintendent at Haine Middle School, who is proud of the way the students have really taken an interest in this project.

“They're very passionate about it,” he said. “You (even) hear them at lunchtime talking about it.”

He said that the ultimate goal is to have the cafeteria included in this project where approximately 1,400 students visit each day.

This goal might not be too far off as recycling gains interest with the students and the recycling bins start to fill up more quickly.

“The kids walking down the hall, they really make a conscious effort (to recycle),” Smith said.

The project's values have transferred from outside the school walls where parents have said that their family has begun to recycle due to the work that's being done at their child's school.

“This is something where the adults are looking at the kids and we're learning from the kids,” Smith said.

Matt DeFusco is an intern with Trib Total Media

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