Washington Court House City Schools (WCHCS) will once again “Flip Your Lids” this school year after the success of recycling over 1,000 pounds of plastic lids in the final months of the 2018-2019 school year.
WCHCS challenged the students, staff and community to save their lids from the trash can and instead bring them into the school to be recycled. It is a project designed to help kids understand the importance of making small changes in their life patterns that can make a positive change for our environment,
As an additional incentive, for each 250 pounds collected those lids would be “flipped” into a bench made out of the recycled materials. An anonymous donor set a wager with the district to pay for the processing fee to make the first bench at each building, should the students succeed in collecting the required 250 pounds.
Immediately, the Blue Lions began collecting from their homes, family gatherings and sporting events. Local businesses and organizations, such as Riten Industries, joined in the recycling challenge and donated their lids to the district as well.
After three months, Cherry Hill Primary School collected 514 total pounds, Belle Aire Intermediate collected 338 pounds and Washington Middle School collected 352 pounds.
Cherry Hill’s 514 pounds were enough to build an entire picnic table, which the students and staff dedicated in honor of the late Jane Garland, a beloved teacher and friend of the Little Lions.
Belle Aire students placed their bench in the courtyard so teachers and students could enjoy it while learning in the beautiful outdoor space.
Washington Middle School’s (WMS) bench currently is in the rotunda so that students can enjoy it during class changes, and guests can see the bench the students worked hard to build.
While Washington High School (WHS) fell just short of the required 250 pounds, they are determined to be the first to earn their bench this year.
“Our students are excited for the challenge this year,” said Tracy Rose, WHS principal. “They’re so determined. They have already determined who their bench will be dedicated to, where it will go and how to encourage their classmates to join in the recycling.”
All of these recycled furniture pieces were processed thanks to the $900 donation of an anonymous supporter.
Not only did this project save over 1,000 pounds from the landfill, it was an exciting addition to the learning of many students with disabilities. WCHCS serves more students with special needs than all districts in neighboring counties, with varying levels of disabilities. Many of these students were thrilled to have an important role in this project.
“Our students would consolidate the caps from all over the building,” Kevin Evans, an aide at WMS, said. “Once they were in the classroom, the students would separate the lids by color and put them in the corresponding jugs.”
“Not only did this sorting tremendously help the project,” explained Evans, “but it also helped our students work on recognizing their colors, as well as gave them the responsibility of working towards a goal, all of which were meeting key IEP goals set for them.”
In addition to the collecting and sorting of the lids, these students built many of the collecting jugs and coined the name being used for the project, “Flip Your Lids.”
“We couldn’t be more excited about the success of this project in its first year,” said Trevor Patton, director of marketing and communications. “Flip Your Lids not only got our students and many community members excited about helping our environment, but it also provided an incredible hands-on learning opportunity for countless students.”
“This student-led project has made a positive difference for our world, and it’s something that our students can be very proud of,” explained Patton. “We can’t wait to see how many more lids the Blue Lions can flip this school year and continue to make a change for the better in our community.”
The district encourages local businesses, churches and organizations to join them in this recycling program. Lids that are acceptable include the lids from milk jugs, detergent, hair spray, pop and water bottles, condiments, spray paint, yogurt, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, peanut butter, ice cream bucket, butter container and lids without paper liners.
Items that are not accepted at this time: plastic bottles, fast food lids, soap and lotion pumps, trigger sprayers, caps with metal, zip lock bags or grocery bags. Grocery and zip lock bags are acceptable containers to bring your washed caps in, but they are not able to be recycled along with the lids.
WCHCS also encourages any entity or individual interested in donating towards or sponsoring the program to take part, so that they can continue to turn the recycled lids into benches and other furniture to be placed and used across the community.
For more information, please contact the district at 740-335-6620 during regular school hours.