St. Paul senior project focuses on recycling

Cary Ashby • Sep 8, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Megan Hedrick’s senior project is called “Red, Black & Green.”

“The point is to make our school more environmentally-friendly,” said the St. Paul High School senior and daughter of David and Lisa.

Hedrick’s project has seven components.

First, to keep recycling costs low, junior and senior high students will sort plastic, aluminum, cardboard and paper instead of having Christie Lane workers do it.

“Right now it’s the National Honor Society (doing it). We are working out the kinks,” Hedrick said.

She also is in the process of raising awareness about recycling with the junior and senior high students. Hedrick said it’s about changing people’s mindset from being “a throwaway culture” to becoming more enthusiastic about recycling.

Part of her awareness campaign has been the 15 signs that Hedrick created containing facts about recycling and the environment. 

“I designed the little logo,” said Hedrick, who used Pictochart to select the fonts.

School officials have been on board with her efforts. 

“Mr. (Dennis) Doughty has been supportive,” Hedrick said, referring to the school president. “That makes it a lot easier.”

A home economics teacher has been more environmentally-friendly by using reusable tablecloths and napkins.

“I’ve gotten some really good feedback,” Hedrick said. “One (teacher) wants to start composting in their classroom.”

The third part of Hedrick’s project was providing online lesson plans and art projects at a teachers’ meeting before school started. 

Another component is returning to using silverware instead of plastic forks, knives and spoons in the cafeteria.

“We already wash the trays that go through the washing machine, so it’s not adding something on top of that. Hopefully, it won’t be too much of a hassle for the lunch ladies,” Hedrick said.

The fifth part of her recycling project involves placing bins out at Whitney Field for home St. Paul football games and at the St. Paul Convocation Center.

“That’s just for aluminum and plastic at this point,” Hedrick said. “They have a hole in the top. Nothing else should (be able to) go in there.”

The recycling bin at Whitney Field is located at the corner of the concession stand.

“We had it at the first game already. We should have it at all the other home games also,” Hedrick said.

“It wasn’t quite half-filled,” she added. “I definitely am glad to see we’re moving in the right direction.”

One way to remind football fans to recycle at Whitney Field will be having Mike Roth, the voice of the Flyers, make an announcement about the bins during football games.

The sixth component is a “zero-waste event” at another St. Paul or Norwalk Catholic School activity. 

“There will be no trash cans at the event. Everything there will be recyclable or compostable,” Hedrick said. 

A recycling contest will be the final part.

“New Horizons is sponsoring our recycling program. They are giving us a donation for the costs we do have,” said Hedrick, who is working with Barnes Nursery for the zero-waste event.

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