© Maureen Coulter/The Guardian
Tyler Heggie, left, and Jayne Johnston, are both on the Green Team at Stone Park Intermediate School and helped the school collect dead batteries as part of a green initiative.
The students at Stone Park Intermediate School care about the environment and they have the boxes of batteries diverted from the landfill to prove it.
Students on the school’s Green Team recently took part in the Call2Recyle Canada initiative to collect dead batteries.
Call2Recycle Canada is a non-profit organization that recycles dead batteries from municipalities for free to help meet and exceed recycling standards in the country.
Stone Park Intermediate students collected close to 7,000 batteries as part of the initiative.
One of those students is Tyler Heggie.
Tyler is an Earth Ranger and has almost done half of his quests since joining the online kids’ conservation program two years ago.
The Grade 8 student brought in 200 batteries personally for the school’s recycling objective.
He says people hoard dead batteries because they either don’t know where they go or think they can squeeze the last bit of battery power out of them.
But he says that is a dangerous practice.
“I’ve learned if you leave batteries long enough sometimes they get that extra five minutes of recharge on them. After you use them for that five minutes, they instantly start to leak so you need to be careful whenever you are doing that.”
Grade 7 student Jayne Johnston said her interest for the environment was first piqued after watching a YouTube video a few years ago about pollution.
“I just kind of saw how much pollution is being put into the air and stuff,” she said. “It kind of scares me sometimes.”
We think we just touched the tip of the iceberg because there’s a lot batteries out there Jill Burry
Whenever she walks home from school she stops and picks up garbage and puts it into the proper garbage can.
She also turns off lights in her house when they are not being used.
There are 32 students on the Green Team at the school and both Jayne and Tyler sacrificed five lunch periods to help count, sort and seperate the batteries accordingly.
Vice-principal Jill Burry championed the collection of batteries and was overwhelmed by the amount the students collected.
“We think we just touched the tip of the iceberg because there’s a lot batteries out there,” she said.
On top of collecting batteries, the school turned this into an educational piece to let students know there is a right way to do things that benefit the environment.
“It was about the education and getting kids to realize that if these go into the landfill, they are going to leak chemicals that could contaminate our water supply and things like that,” said Burry.
Throughout the year, the school has plans for other green initiatives, including a sweater day where the heat is turned down by four degrees and Lights Out Canada where as many lights in the school are turned off to preserve power.
The school is currently working with Island Waste Managment Corporation to refine their sorting process for recyclables, compost and waste.