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Northern Neck Montessori School wins recycling contest

Students and staff of the Northern Neck Montessori School celebrate their statewide victory in a national recycling contest. They are, front row from left, Lucie Johnson, Nathan Meberg, Jathan Doane, Carys Casper, Skyla Schaefer, Ty Makulowich, Spencer Patterson, Gunnar Marston, Liam Hubbard, Jack Bowman, Cara Parks, Children’s House teacher Suzanne Moughon, and Allie Schaefer; middle row, Avery Parks, Franz Richard-Baichl, Evie Allen, Henry Patterson, Jack Jones, Mathew Kelley, Gigi Mataya, Jude Kempe, and lower elementary assistant Tanya Mitchell; back row, administrative assistant Michelle Kimball, lower elementary teacher Beth Rohne, and Children’s House assistant Jen Walden.

By collecting and returning approximately 5,500 cans—171 pounds of raw aluminum—the Northern Neck Montessori School in Kilmarnock finished in first place in Virginia and claimed a $1,000 prize as part of the Great American Can Roundup School Challenge.

“Recycling is a win for our school and a win for the environment,” said head of school Beth Rohne. “It’s also a wonderful way to give children a hands-on lesson about sustainability and the importance of preserving non-renewable resources. We’re incredibly proud of our students, not just because they won an award, but because they learned to be more responsible stewards of the Earth.”

The Great American Can Roundup School Challenge is sponsored by the Can Manufacturers Institute, a trade association representing can makers and their suppliers. The contest drew the participation of more than 1,000 schools from all 50 states. Collectively, the schools recycled more than 3.3 million aluminum beverage cans, which generated more than $47,000 in recycling proceeds for the schools.

“I congratulate Northern Neck Montessori School for their impressive showing and setting such a strong example of the importance—and value—of recycling used cans,” said Robert Budway, president of the Can Manufacturers Institute.

The Northern Neck Montessori School, which includes pre-school through grade three, has students from Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex and Northumberland counties.

Schools were judged on a per capita basis. The Northern Neck Montessori School recycled 13.15 pounds of aluminum, or about 420 cans per participating student. The contest period was November 15, 2013 (America Recycles Day) to April 22, 2014 (Earth Day).

As students at the Northern Neck Montessori School learned, aluminum cans can be recycled as many times as they are used. It can take as little as 60 days for a recycled can to wind up back on a store shelf. Just one recycled can saves enough energy to run a load of laundry. The energy saved from all cans recycled annually in the United States could power the entire city of Washington, D.C., for nearly four years.

“Cans, quite simply, are the premier sustainable solution,” Budway said. “By using cans, we are essentially using the same resource over and over, thereby reducing the need for both landfill space and new raw materials. That is the essence of sustainability.”

posted 06.04.2014

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