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Thursday August 15 marked the day when the custodial staff of Pittsfield Public Schools, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was honored at an appreciation luncheon. The custodial staff was commended for their efforts to not only take part in but to also promote the city-wide school recycling initiative. There was over forty of the city schools’ custodial staff in attendance for this worthwhile event. They are truly the front line of defense when it comes to keeping our schools green and keeping them recycling.

This all comes on the heels of a study conducted by an EcoFellow for the Center for EcoTechnology, Annie Stilts, where she tried to see how much of the refuse coming from elementary and middle schools was simply thrown out and how much of it was actually recycled. She found that the rates of recycling varied greatly. Some schools were recycling close to half of their refuse, while other schools were doing a little less than fifteen percent.

It was the Pittsfield custodial staff, in this case, that was the spearhead effort to not only recycle themselves, but also to teach students and teachers about the importance of it and how to go about doing it in their school. With recycling bins placed in classrooms and cafeterias, you’d think it would be a situation that required little thought. Thankfully, those cleaning up the mess of others not only did their part but helped those not properly recycling to learn the error of their ways.

Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Daniel L. Bianchi expressed the following in a statement: “I think it’s a wonderful program,” Bianchi said. “The custodial staff do a tremendous job with the schools; they always look good. They’re also an integral part with respect to successful recycling. Some people say it’s more work, but it’s the right thing to do.”

At the end of the month, the food service and cafeteria workers are going to be honored in a similar fashion for their efforts. It’s great to see members of staff in these schools teaching not only students but teachers as well about the importance of recycling. Honoring them is a great way to let everyone in the district know that recycling is something considered to be a priority. For schools especially, recycling is something that should not be avoided. With the amount of refuse going out of those buildings every day, not having a plan in place is something that is not excusable.

Let us know if you have any examples in your area of staff members that are going above and beyond their duty to make sure recycling takes place in their work environment. Those that do are all people that should be commended for their efforts and told how they are doing a wonderful job and fighting the good fight.

Story Via the Berkshire Eagle

Pic Via Benchill