Las Vegas Sun

August 27, 2014

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School District gets money for recycling programs

The Consumer Electronics Association has donated $100,000 to the Clark County School District for recycling programs in 50 schools.

The School District has long suffered from a lack of funding for recycling, even while the district listed it as an objective, Liberty High School teacher and Recycling Matters advisory team member David Butler said. A few schools like Liberty had launched programs on their own without financial support.

Now, he said, "The district is willing to put their money where their mouth is."

Butler said he had been trying to gather support for a recycling program, when Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro made the donation.

"He did not want to leave a huge carbon imprint on Las Vegas," said Mary Pike, the school district's director of science, health and foreign language. "His dad was a teacher and a principal."

Schools will have to apply for the program so they can receive recycling bins and pickup service. Students will be responsible for collecting recyclables and transferring them to the trash bins outside.

"There's so much waste generated at schools between paper and bottles from Gatorade," Pike said.

The program also meshes with the science curriculum, she said.

"It gives them an opportunity to learn about conservation of resources, also the economics of supply and demand," Pike said.

She hopes students will transfer those lessons home, spurring recycling by the entire family.

Butler, who advises Liberty's Environmental Awareness Club, said the high school has been a leader in the green movement. Liberty students had worked with Henderson on Earth Days and assisted the city with recycling during WinterFest. The club's mission includes educating the public.

"We have a Public Outreach Committee within the club that goes to some of the feeder schools," Butler said. "There's going to be a lot of job creation in green jobs. We try to educate the kids to help them understand the growth fields."

He said the grant will help bolster clubs in other schools while also providing funding for awards and recognition.

"Kids love a pat on the back," he said.

Dave Clark can be reached at 990-2677 or [email protected].

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