Green schools collect recycle points

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published February 23, 2016

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ROCHESTER HILLS —Twelve local schools have been selected as green school finalists in a program aimed at educating and motivating students to live a greener lifestyle.

The city’s Recyclebank program funds school projects ranging from outdoor learning centers to community gardens. Recyclebank points — which residents earn for recycling — are donated to the program to fund the school efforts. Schools in the program are allowed to apply for up to $2,500 for a green school project.

“It is a wonderful program,” said Maria Willett, Rochester Hills chief assistant to the mayor. “The schools apply for a project that creates a cleaner, greener school.”

For every 250 points donated, Recyclebank gives schools $1 that can be used toward their green project. To fully fund all 12 school projects, Recyclebank members need to donate 4.5 million points.

The school projects include adding recycling bins, establishing outdoor classrooms and learning spaces, purchasing metal silverware to eliminate disposables, and funding outdoor cleanup efforts. Additional projects aim for outdoor walking space with ecologically informative signage, native planting efforts, installation of rain gardens, replacing paper towels with electric hand dryers and more.

Residents are urged to donate their unused Recyclebank points to the effort. Currently, Rochester Hills residents have more than 100 million unused points in their accounts.

“We have to do it soon, before March 15,” Willett said.

If not already a Recyclebank member, Rochester Hills residents can sign up by visiting www.recy and following the prompts to set up an account and verify their home address.

“This is the eighth consecutive year that Rochester Hills schools have been recognized as green schools,” Mayor Bryan Barnett said in a statement. “Thanks to our residents’ generosity in donating their Recyclebank points, we have not lost an award yet.”

Recyclebank members can learn more about the school project ideas, donate their points and track each school’s progress by visiting