BANGOR, Maine — A local elementary school is getting some city and statewide recognition for its comprehensive commitment to recycling.
Fruit Street School was one of only three schools in Maine to be recognized by the State Planning Office as part of Maine Recycles Week last December.
Bangor city councilors were expected Monday night to recognize the school for its recycling efforts.
Wendy Libby, art teacher at the elementary school and the leader of most of the recycling efforts, said the best part has been how the pupils have responded.
“They have really embraced recycling,” Libby said Monday. “And we do a lot without them even knowing it. More and more, it becomes second nature to them.”
With its recognition, the school received $500 to put toward science or environmental activities, or for recycling. Bowdoinham Community School and Lincoln Middle School in Portland were the two other schools recognized by the planning office.
“We already had been doing quite a bit; this is really just frosting on the cake for us,” Libby said. “One of the things that has been really nice is that we’ve been able to get parents involved as well, so these kids can take what they’re learning back home.”
Along those lines, the event that made the state take notice, according to Libby, was a parent-pupil Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Community Event held last November. The school encouraged pupils to invite their parents to participate in creative activities based on those principles.
Nine individual stations were set up to bring awareness and educate about specific recycling practices. One station allowed parents and pupils to design their own paper bag, which would be reused for groceries or other items. The bags had been donated from area stores. Another station involved creative and artistic ways to reuse styrofoam lunch trays from the school cafeteria.
Tim Babcock, principal of the Fruit Street School, said the November event was well-attended and likely will become an annual occurrence.
“The community really took to this,” he said.