WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Eight-year-old Hanna Aguilar and more than 150 fellow campers at a White Plains summer camp have recycled about 300 bottles as part of the resurrected Recycling Rangers Program.
Students in grades one through five participating in the Bits ‘n’ Pieces’ summer camp at Church Street Elementary are participating in the program, which was started by former Westchester Legislator Bill Ryan and resurrected this summer by Legislators Benjamin Boykin and Alfreda Williams.
“We’re kicking off Recycling Rangers because we want everyone to become more environmentally friendly and recycling is an absolute important part of that,” he said.
Before Boykin and Williams played a little Q&A with the kids about recycling Wednesday, Smalls and the camp staff took the kids on a tour of the school to show them all of the items that have been reused instead of being thrown out.
“There was a flower that was made out of pizza cartons and they used it instead of just throwing it out,” Aguilar said. “They reused it by making petals for a sunflower.”
The purple sunflower is displayed on the cafeteria wall. Smalls was pleasantly surprised that the young student remembered that detail.
“That makes me feel good,” he said, adding that it’s hard to tell if students retain what you teach them.
The students also watched as the school’s recycling was collected Wednesday morning. Next week, they will go to the Yonkers waste center and watch them take the items out of the truck.
“So we’re taking it from beginning to end,” he said.
The camp is also collecting reusable water bottles for the kids, after the state police donated half a dozen. Donations can be sent to the Youth Bureau at 11 Amherst Place.
One child asked Boykin and Williams if they get a trophy for recycling. Boykin answered that while the ultimate reward is a cleaner and healthier world, students will receive Recycling Ranger certificates and badges at the end of the summer.
“This makes them form good habits in terms of making sure they properly dispose of glass and plastic and papers and they can tell their friends and their parents about it,” Williams said.