2013 Recycling Awards: School
School Award Winner – Bishop Watterson High School
Location – Columbus, OH
Amount of paper and paper-based packaging recovered in 2012 – 18.36 tons
Student population – 900
Amount collected per student – 33.8 pounds
Started in 2009, the Bishop Watterson recycling program
successfully recovered more than 90 percent of the paper and
paper-based packaging generated on the school campus. A
strong service component – inherent in the curriculum and
culture – is credited with helping to achieve such rapid and
The paper recycling program at Bishop Watterson is
administered on a volunteer basis by an environmental
science teacher with the assistance of student council
students and advisors, the maintenance staff and the
administrative staff. All student council members are
engaged in the collection of recyclables from their
homerooms and volunteer to help encourage and educate fellow students with their recycling efforts in the cafeteria. In addition to paper recycling bins in the classrooms, art rooms, technology department, library and offices, the school encourages the recovery of the kraft lunch bags used daily by approximately 500 students. Nearly 87,500 such bags are recycled annually as a result.
Educating students, educators, faculty, cooks, staff,
administrative assistants, parents and community members
is integral to the success at Bishop Watterson High. Nearly
all of the 1,100 students and staff actively participate in
recycling efforts. Further, recycling has been integrated into
the environmental curriculum; the art department uses
recovered materials as artists’ paper; the video magazine staff
write and film plays incorporating recycling themes that are
shown to the entire school and articles are published in community papers describing the program and its success.
Students, faculty, the administration and the community work together to ensure a culture of environmental stewardship and responsibility, which has in turn aided the paper recovery program. Program administrators work closely with the waste hauler; packaging materials are reused by a local business partner; sawdust from woodworking classes is used as a soil amendment; wood scraps are turned into drawing charcoal and the wood ash is used to create lye for soap. At the end of the year, students place left-over notebook paper, workbooks and other school supplies in the recycling containers and then help to sort them. A non-profit organization then collects and donates these school supplies to Columbus inner-city schools.
To learn more about the Bishop Watterson High School, visit www.bishopwatterson.com.