Recyclebank points aid school environmental projects

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published January 23, 2013

ROCHESTER HILLS — A local program’s trash recycling points can support two elementary school projects designed to promote environmental stewardship.

“If you are a single-family homeowner in the city, you are a part of our single-hauler waste system with a component called Recyclebank,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett. “You are accruing points (for recycling materials) if you are signed up. You can donate those (points) to the Green Schools program. You have until March 15 to donate those points.”

By awarding grants for green projects, the Recyclebank Green Schools Program empowers students to come up with ideas that will benefit their schools, communities and the world.

Long Meadow and University Hills elementary schools have been selected as Green Schools and are competing with 27 others across the United States for grants. The schools aim to create an outdoor classroom and a permanent recycling station.

“This is the third consecutive year that a Rochester Hills school has been named a Green School, and thanks to our residents’ generosity in donating their Recyclebank points, we have not lost an award yet,” Barnett said. “Combined, we have received over $14,000 for school environmental projects.”

The curbside recycling program Recyclebank gives the schools $1 for every 250 points donated up to $2,500, with part of the money matched by Domtar, a national paper company.

University Hills students plan to use grant funding to place limestone boulders under an oak tree on school grounds, adding native plants to create an outdoor learning area where lessons in science, nature-inspired creative writing and local history will be held. 

“Our hope is it will add to their sense of stewardship for their surroundings and will reinforce their role as valued members of our school community,” said Michelle Mineau, University Hills Parent Teacher Association committee co-chair, in a statement.

Long Meadow Elementary students hope to create a permanent recycling center and provide each classroom with a recycling container to teach students about recycling.

“Our desired outcome is to educate students and parents about the importance of recycling and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Barb Rill, Long Meadow PTA member, in a statement.

To donate Recyclebank points, residents can visit and select Long Meadow or University Hills from the list of 2012-13 Green Schools. Recyclebank will convert donated points into dollars for a school of choice.

“Residents can (also) split their points between the two schools by selecting the number of points and school of choice in two separate transactions,” Barnett said.  “We are one of the few communities that has Recyclebank. It has been a wonderful success.”