FRANKFORT, KY. – Somerset school students received special assistance today in lessons on the environment and the importance of recycling as top state officials participated in a “Dumpster Dive” with them.
LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), Virginia Fox, secretary of the Education Cabinet, and Gene Wilhoit, commissioner of the Department of Education, participated in the recycling event at Hopkins Elementary School. The event was part of an Earth Week celebration coordinated by the EPPC.
In a “Dumpster Dive” students separate trash from the container to determine what items could be recycled and then weigh those items.
“This exercise demonstrates to students visually and by weight how much material is thrown away that could be recycled,” said Wilcher. “We estimate that as much as 50 percent of the waste stream in a typical school could be recycled, saving the district thousands of dollars in landfill fees and protecting our environment.”
Fox noted the value of teaching students the importance of recycling. “You can’t make something better if you don’t know there’s a problem, so school is the perfect place to learn about how to protect our environment for ourselves and for the generations who will follow us,” Fox told the students.
Wilhoit encouraged the students to remember the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle, plus take an extra step. “It also means supporting the recycling effort by buying products that are made from recycled materials,” Wilhoit said.
Wilcher, Fox and Wilhoit also participated in “Dumpster Dive” events today in Breathitt and Warren county schools.
Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Friday, April 22. Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day. Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.
This is the second year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day. Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, collection of cell phones for recycling and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology. Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.environment.ky.gov/earthday to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration.