Two years ago, our PeaceJam club aspired to begin a recycling program within the school. Home to almost 2,000 students and faculty, Ponderosa filled over 5 trash dumpsters daily, adding greatly to the amount of garbage that is polluting our planet. We began our program by placing recycling bins in every classroom, teaching students and faculty about recycling, and personally carrying out the recycling each week. Today, the program is entirely self-sustaining and has gained the involvement of the entire community. Every week, Ponderosa fills 9 double-sized recycling containers. Overall, we have decreased the amount of trash at Ponderosa by over 70%.
Schools contain a plethora of recyclables that often get tossed in the trash. To prevent this, PeaceJam has worked diligently to educate and encourage students to recycle. Recycling the everyday materials from high school, including spare papers, cans, water bottles, old textbooks, junk mail, pizza boxes, art supplies, and out-of-date teaching materials can rapidly contribute to saving the Earth. At year’s end students clean out their lockers with a recycling bin at hand, instead of dumping it all in the trash. The community at Ponderosa has been so receptive to the efforts of PeaceJam that students go out of their way to recycle bits that others have left behind. In fact, the PeaceJammers are so dedicated to recycling that it’s not uncommon to find us digging through the trash, ensuring that every last bit is recycled.