Coal City Elementary students get a lesson on trash and treasure for “America Recycles Day”

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:36 PM EST
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - On Wednesday, November 15, also known as “America Recycles Day,” more than 50 first-grade students at Coal City Elementary loaded up and headed to the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority’s Recycling and Education Center to get a lesson on how one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure.

Throughout the day, the students learned about the Raleigh County landfill, how green energy is generated and even the importance of converting waste into works of art.

“Learning to safeguard the environment at an early age, it cultivates a lifelong appreciation of your surroundings,” shared Sherrie Hunter, Director of Education for the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority. “...I like to say: ‘If you’re not recycling, you’re throwing it all away.”

Wednesday may have been a field trip, but teachers at Coal City Elementary say they think the motto of “reduce, reuse and recycle” will stay with their students for years to come.

“This is a completely different type of learning environment for them than a regular classroom,” explained first-grade teacher Stacie Hutchens. “So, it’s a good experience for them to get out. They get to do a lot of hands-on things that they normally, maybe don’t get to do on a day-to-day basis.”

Six-year-old Lake Whitt tells WVVA that he learned a lot about blue and white bins at the education center.

“You like, have to put stuff in the trash and recycle it, and you like- trash is something cool and stuff.”

Meanwhile, seven-year-old Patyon Allen explained how she and her classmates used trash to make a beautiful flower.

“We used a toilet paper roll, and we used a straw, and we used a lid, and we used glue.”

After their lesson on Wednesday, several of the students said they couldn’t wait to go home and teach their families how to craft with trash.