recycling club earns top award

MILFORD – Milford Middle School students received the highest honor by earning the gold award in the TEAM Earth Awards Program for their outstanding recycling efforts. The group started their climb to the top less than a year ago and completed the program in record time.

The Club’s TEAM Earth Awards Program is a project of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association. TEAM Earth was developed to further educate and recognize club members for the great recycling service they are providing to their school and, ultimately, to their community.

Their latest project includes recycling sneakers through the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program. After the shoes are shipped out to Nike’s processing plant, they are ground up and separated into useful materials. Then, the product is used to make various surfaces, including outdoor and indoor athletic courts, playgrounds, running tracks and more. So far, they have collected around 200 pairs of athletic sneaker!

Led by teacher Diane Varney-Parker, the Milford Middle Recycling Club has put forth the extra effort and gone beyond the basics of recycling. In addition to recycling paper, cardboard, plastics and yogurt containers, the students have implemented many procedures that cut back on the school’s paper usage. The school now uses e-mail for attendance, lunch counts and school memos.

Milford Middle School has been a member of the club since April 2007. Since then, they have been educating the students and staff about recycling through their main hallway bulletin board. The big board features recycling tips and tracks their recycling progress with graphs and other visuals. They also use their school announcements to publicize earth-friendly tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Each one of these efforts earns the group more points in the TEAM Earth Awards program, getting them a step closer to receiving a bronze, silver or gold award.

The School Recycling Club is a free program for all New Hampshire schools, as well as schools in other states whose communities are members of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association. For students and teachers in grades K-12, the club serves as a centralized organization to help schools become more active in the world of recycling. The club is a fun and innovative way to give kids encouragement, direction and networking possibilities for school recycling programs.

There are currently 241 member schools with more than 110,000 students involved.

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