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Dutchess County Solid Waste Coordinator Meets with LaGrange Middle School Students about National Award Winning Recycling Project

Published: 4/5/2012

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro congratulates three local student teams, all from the Arlington School District, who were finalists in the Lexus ECO Challenge.  The fifth annual Lexus ECO Challenge is a national contest that encourages middle and high school students to develop and implement environmental programs that positively impact their communities.   Each team won $10,000 in scholarships and grants.

The winning teams were:

  • Team S.A.L.T. (Saving Another Living Tree), a team from Arlington High School, researched the detrimental impact of road salt on the ecosystem.
  • Invasive Annihilators team, also from Arlington High School, studied the dangers of invasive insects and plants.
  • Team S.O.S. (Saving Our Society), from LaGrange Middle School, worked to  create awareness of how our planet is changing and how to prepare for unusual weather.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Congratulations to each of these teams on their impressive achievements.    Their work helps to instill a lifelong commitment to protecting the environment.  We are grateful for all of their efforts to promote awareness of these important ecological issues.” 

Dutchess County Solid Waste Coordinator Lindsay Carille met recently with Team S.O.S. along with their teacher advisor Donna Bolner, who also serves as a Dutchess County Legislator to learn more about their Eco Challenge project and hear about their  ongoing efforts to increase recycling, not only in their school, but county-wide.

Team S.O.S.’ Challenge submission focused on the subject of Global Warming, with the goal of creating awareness of how our planet is changing and how to prepare for unusual weather.  Their efforts concentrated on the importance of the three “R”s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and how they relate to the health of the environment.   The team, consisting of five eighth grade students, actively campaigned to encourage recycling within their school community and to promote their global warming-driven cause through class presentations, messages on school windows, more than 200 banner signatures as well as a mid-year locker clean out effort.   

Team S.O.S.  encourages all students countywide to increase recycling effort in their own school.   By studying LaGrange Middle School’s recycling rate, Team S.O.S. concluded that if every student in Dutchess County recycled at their school, about 235 yards of paper and 58 yards of can/bottles could be recycled per week.   They also completed a survey of the school’s sixth grade class on recycling awareness, and will compare the results with a upcoming survey of parents.

Dutchess County Solid Waste Coordinator Carille said, “I am really impressed by the efforts and successes of Team S.O.S.   As we work to increase recycling rates in Dutchess County and promote reduction and reuse, we know it will be efforts just like those of Team SOS that will encourage more and more people to get involved in the reduce, reuse and recycle process.”

Team S.0.S. plan to use their winnings to fund a project using solar energy.  They are currently exploring projects that will make the most of their winnings while bringing awareness to the issue of global warming.

Team advisor and County Legislator Donna Bolner said, “I am so proud of the work each of the girls has done. They have made a real impact in our school’s recycling efforts and I know they have so much more to achieve as they continue to work to promote environmental consciousness.”  

“Team S.O.S. has demonstrated the positive impact a small group of young ladies and a dedicated teacher can have on our environment.    I encourage everyone to follow their lead and take steps to increase recycling in their home, workplaces and community,” concluded Ms. Carille.