, Newburyport, MA

April 9, 2013

Students putting pizazz into recycing at NHS

By Sarah Joor

---- — NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport High School Environmental Club’s latest collaboration is a new composting and recycling project called the ECube. Concerned with the lack of recycling and the number of items going into the waste bin, the club has designed, built and is now artistically painting the ECube to draw the attention of their school community.

“The idea is that everyone would sort out organic waste and put any meats, vegetables and fruits in the ECube’s compost section,” said Lindsay Ford, co-president of the Environmental Club.

The current receptacles recycle bottles and cans. The ECube’s design is unique. It has four compartments: compost, bottle recycling, terracycling and trash.

According to Co-President Phoebe Lanham, “TerraCycle means to recycle things that you normally wouldn’t be able to recycle, like candy wrappers, chip bags and Pop-Tarts wrappers. We even called the Pop-Tarts company to be sure the wrapper could be recycled.”

The Environmental Club also called the city’s recycling coordinator, Molly Ettenborough, to coordinate removal of the cardboard and food waste in the ECube’s compost section. A company called Black Earth Haulers will remove the compost.

The club has been working on this project since September. It has been a very detailed process to measure, build and find the right-size bins, all to accommodate the needs of a high school cafeteria.

The ECube will be placed in the cafeteria in the coming weeks. Eventually, the club hopes to replace all the receptacles with the ECube. The club will work to educate students during lunch and study halls as to its use.

“The goal is for the school community to be educated and motivated to recycle in new ways and to do so effectively,” said Graciela Cummins, adviser to the club.

The club works to make the school more sustainable and environmentally conscious. In the past they have led efforts to help with drafts coming through windows and an automatic shutdown of computers at night to save energy. They have also previously purchased LED lights that go on the holiday tree in Market Square.