2020
Battery Recycling

ECO Team

Devon Gardens Elementary
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

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The Grade 6 and 7 students who decided to be a part of ECO Team this year were inspired to take action to do their part to help the environment. In particular, they wanted to do anything they could to slow climate change and its impact on the earth. In addition, students had already been discussing climate change in the classroom since the start of the year as it was a topic covered in Science; it was also a popular subject of conversation in the classroom with the Climate Action Walk Out occurring at the beginning of the year where some of our students were participants. ECO Team and Green Team collectively decided that battery recycling would be our chosen environmentally-friendly action. Also, as the month of February celebrates National Battery Recycling Day on February 18th, it made absolute perfect sense to kick off the new year with this project.

 

Battery recycling is extremely important, simply put, there is no logical reason to not recycle them. They end up in our landfills, which in turn causes soil and water pollution, affecting plant and animal life. This is why there are systems and locations in place where one can drop off their properly sealed batteries in order to be recycled and transformed into recycled metals. Therefore, not only is our ECO Team doing their part to recycle batteries, but they are also doing their part to not only inform the rest of the school but the local community about how simple it really is to properly and safely store and recycle batteries. Overall, our goal was to educate the rest of the school on the consequences of throwing our batteries in the garbage, the steps required to take in order to properly sort and store used batteries, where to drop them off for recycling, and to simply collect and recycle as many batteries as we could!

 

This project involved a lot of steps in order to make it successful. Starting at the beginning of January, ECO Team was in charge of researching and discussing the dangers of batteries ending up in our landfills as well as the advantages and instructions on how to properly and safely recycle used batteries. They made a variety of posters explaining the following: the consequences of the pollution they cause when they end up in the landfill, the steps to safely store them, and finally the instructions on how, when and where to drop them off for recycling. Next, ECO Team’s buddy environmentally conscious team, Green Team (consisting of some very motivated and conscientious Grade 1 students) decorated some battery outlines to add to our posters. Posters were placed around the school, a daily morning announcement was created, a battery collection box was placed near the office, mini-presentations in English and French explaining our project were given by ECO Team members in all of the classrooms, emails were sent home to the student’s families, and a schedule was created partnering our ECO Team members with our younger Green Team members in order to collect batteries from all of the classrooms on a daily basis. Finally, ECO Team member volunteers helped sort and bag these collected batteries in order to be placed in our collection boxes to then be picked up and dropped off at the proper recycling centers. As well, our project has been very successful so far and is still very much underway.

 

Although ECO Team and Green Team were the leaders of this project, the rest of the staff, students and families have all been helpful and done their part to recycle and spread the word. Thanks to taking on this big project, the students learned just how dangerous batteries can be to the health of our planet if they end up in our landfills, how important it is to properly store and recycle them, as well as discovering what recycled batteries can be transformed into. One challenge faced during this project was not being fully prepared nor expecting the impressive response of the school community. The first day of our used battery collection, we filled up the entire collection box! The students were shocked! We had to go out and get a couple more boxes, so we would have somewhere to put the batteries we would collect the following days.

 

ECO Team’s members are proud that their Battery Recycling Project is doing its part to help the environment and have been continuously impressed by the amount of used batteries being brought in by their fellow students – whether it’s a single battery or an entire bag filled with them! The posters and announcements done by the students, as well as the emails and tweets sent out by admin to the parents and community have definitely aided in our project’s exciting success. Therefore, it’s safe to say that our Battery Recycling Project has exceeded our ECO Team’s goals. So far, we’ve filled almost 4 boxes, and we’re sure that we’ll collect many more before the end of our project.

 

In conclusion, as February is coming to an end, we will be moving onto our next monthly focus which is water conservation, where ECO Team will be doing its part to ensure the staff and students are educated on the importance of conserving water and have the tools to reduce their water usage. ECO Team is proud to be doing their part to make a difference in something so important as taking care of our environment.