What do hundreds of Tillamook County Students, half a million plastic bags, and a 2016 calendar have in common? “America Recycles Day,” says Sue Owens, Tillamook County Solid Waste Outreach & Education Specialist. “We had five schools or day care centers participate in our calendar contest, and three in our plastics collections this year. It might not sound like a lot, but the students of these schools did a phenomenal job of participating,” elaborates Owens.
Neah-Kah-Nie Middle and Jr/Sr High schools, Nestucca High School and Cedar Creek Childcare (Headstart) worked hard to collect plastic bags and films with the goal of earning recycled plastic lumber for a raised garden bed. Together, the four schools collected nearly 700 pounds of plastic films and bags, which equates to approximately 500 thousand bags. “The schools were so successful, that each of them earned more than one prize and one school, NKN High, earned six!” Owens reported. The prizes are slated to arrive at their schools by early spring.
The calendar contest was also hugely successful this year due in part to the partnership made with the Tillamook County Year of Wellness program. The contest was open to Tillamook County children, grades Pre-K to grade 3. “We had students from all over the county represented in the over 700 entries this year,” notes Owens, “including some home school kids.” Calendars depicting the winning entries were distributed to every mailbox holder in Tillamook County in late December. The Year of Wellness has plans of using the entire collection of entries as part of their promotional program over the year. The winning students were awarded certificates of appreciation, a gift certificate to Oh My Stars children’s resale store and a warm congratulatory handshake from Commissioner Bill Baertlein at the January 12, 2016 Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting.
America Recycles Day is every November 15 as a part of the Keep America Beautiful campaign. “We will be doing some sort of activities again for 2016. We just haven’t decided what yet” states Owens, “but you can count on something fun!”
For more information about Tillamook County America Recycles Day activities, call Sue at 503-815-3975 x 3104 or email her at [email protected].