Yerington High School Paper Recycling Project
In 2019 ,Yerington High School (YHS) received a grant from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection to start a paper recycling program at the school. This effort was led by Alexus Bodenstein, then a junior at YHS. She began in 2018 by collecting usable school supplies during the end of school locker clean-out, collecting 8 boxes of usable paper, binders, pens and pencils, and other supplies, which were then redistributed to fellow students the following year.
The NDEP grant funded the procurement of six recycling bins, which were located strategically around the school with the intent to collect and recycle/reuse paper that would have otherwise been discarded. Cardboard collection boxes were given to teachers and staff to allow for the collection of paper in classrooms and offices. Alexus partnered with Stanislaus Farm Supply who agreed to transport the paper bins to the Reno recycling center when they were full. On average this transport to Reno occurred on a monthly bases during the school year.
The end of school locker clean-out collection continued in June of 2019, generating even more usable school supplies than the previous event. These items again were distributed to YHS students that following September.
Ms. Hall, the graphics instructor at YHS, said, “I was so excited when Alexus said they were starting recycling for the high school. I have a computer lab and we go through a lot of paper. Several different school groups had tried to get recycling in the past but were unsuccessful. Now, with the program Alexus started, we aren’t being so wasteful, and she has accomplished something we’ve wanted for years. What a great contribution!”
Alexus and YHS teacher Mrs. Aldridge are hoping to expand and sustain the program with the involvement of incoming students, and to increase the types of materials collected to include aluminum and plastic.
“The most rewarding part of this process has been witnessing the amount of support from YHS staff, community members, Stanislaus, and the NDEP. Their encouragement is the reason why a simple hope to save paper is now a tangible recycling project impacting many,” said Alexus Bodenstein.