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Feb 24, 2012

Belize Elementary School goes green

Recycling efforts among primary school students are reaping big dividends. The go green program started a few years ago and has mushroomed into a campaign that has exceeded expectations at the Belize Elementary School where students are also learning the importance of conservation. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Friendly competition amongst the students of Belize Elementary School to raise points for an upcoming sports day has resulted in a mass of recyclables, bags of unwanted plastics and other returnable material being collected off the streets of the Old Capital.

Majiba Sharp, Vice Principal, BES

Majiba Sharp

“We’ve decided to give them points for their houses.  The entire school is divided into four houses: Toucans, Marlins, Jaguars and Iguanas and we told them that we would give them points based on the amount of bottles that the house brings in and in three weeks we have been pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed with the response of the bottles.”

Beyond the points accumulated for their efforts is an important lesson being taught.  Redeeming discarded items, says Dahlia Mitchell, is a surefire way to learn the importance of conservation and civic pride.

Dalia Mitchell

Dalia Mitchell, Science Teacher, BES

“We’ve been trying to teach them and talk to them that it’s not so much about, you know, the points and who gets the most but more about taking care of the environment and what each person can do to help in that effort because if each one of us does what we’re suppose to then we can make a difference with the environment and in keeping it clean.”

According to Vice Principal Majiba Sharp, since beginning their recycling campaign a few years ago, students have remained consistent, initially depositing empty soft drink bottles to Bowen & Bowen Ltd.

Majiba Sharp

“We use to take the bottles to Bowen & Bowen but it’s a little harder with them because you have to squash the bottles, pack the bottles, count [them] and then we have to transport it there and they only take the soft drink [bottles].  Now we’re going through the Belize Recycling Company and they come here and they collect any plastic at all.  So it could be the dishwashing bottle, the shampoo bottle, Downy, whatever.  So it’s easier for us to deal with them because they come every two weeks and they collect the bottles and really you just get twelve cents per pound but we’re not doing it for the money, we’re just doing it for the cause.”

That cause has led to many students going above and beyond the expectations of the school’s administration.

Majiba Sharp
“Yesterday we had a dad with two of his kids in a pickup driving by the sea and they stopped to pick up every single bottle they found, you know.”

Dalia Mitchell

“We have one student who, at the B.D.F. fair, by himself, while at the B.D.F. fair, he walked around collecting bottles and he collected four huge bags of just bottles one day all by himself.”

The school’s annual sports day takes place on Sunday. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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2 Responses for “Belize Elementary School goes green”

  1. cg says:

    this is awesome,something that should be done in all schools. plus the only good news i’ve read in your entire newscast, shame

  2. Janel Prigmore says:

    This is good to see! we need to start taking care of our Jewel like it takes care of us..BIG UP to Belize Elementary School :)

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