SF, Dairy Assoc. Join Forces To Recycle
Administrators from the Southern Fulton School District were presented with a check in the amount of $9,000 last Thursday as part of a new recycling and dairy promotion program offered in conjunction with Mid- Atlantic Dairy Association.
According to Superintendent Ralph Scott, the funding is to be utilized to purchase a milk cooler and milk vending machine for placement at the high school facility. The vending machine and milk refrigeration unit allows for the sale of eight-ounce plastic bottles of milk instead of the Galliker’s old-fashioned cardboard milk cartons.
“The new plastic bottles are easier to open, allow the milk to feel colder and taste better and can be recycled,” said Jessica relations manager.
In addition to enhancing the way milk and dairy foods are being sold at the district, decorative signs have been placed at the high school in hopes of getting the student body excited about eating school lunch. A convenient, mobile recycling bin has also been placed at both the high school and elementary school to promote the recycling of the plastic bottles.
To date, the district has recycled more than 12,000 bottles since the holiday break. The bottles are packaged daily by members of the Warfordsburg FFA chapter, who ship the empty plastic bottles to Terracycle.
Terracycle is an “upcycling company” based in New Jersey that refills the bottles with a bubble solution. The new bubble bottles will in turn be sold at various major retail stores ranging from Walmart to Target. For each bottle upcycled through the multi-year contract with Mid-At- lantic, the district is slated to receive a return of two cents. The district has raised more than $400 over a three-week period through its recycling efforts.
All expenses related to shipping and handling are covered through the program. Furthermore, the difference or increased cost of providing students with eight-ounce bottles instead of cardboard milk cartons is tentatively slated to be absorbed by the district’s food service provider Metz & Associates.
Aside from Terracycle’s 8- ounce Bottle Buddy Brigade recycling efforts, other “brigade” style recycling offered through upcycling includes drink pouches, yogurt containers and candy and cookie wrappers.
“With the green movement, the switch to plastic bottles seems to fit well into our environmental education program,” said Superintendent Scott, who added current recycling efforts have expanded well beyond milk containers. “We liked the idea of being able to reuse the empty bottles rather than throwing the cartons into a landfill where they will eventually decompose.”
School administrators and school board directors initially began discussing the joint venture with Mid-Atlantic during the fall months. Then board member and area dairy farmer Richard Mosemann pitched the pilot program to the board with input from Scott.
The duo pointed out the program does much more than promote the benefits of milk and offers its participants points on nutrition and exercise as well as the opportunity to teach its student body about recycling.
“As a district, we’re trying to run a program that improves the health of our students and our environment,” said Mosemann in a press release. “Putting milk in a plastic bottle helps improve the quality of life for students by packaging a healthy drink in an appealing way. That packaging can be recycled, which benefits the district financially and removes waste from landfills.”
Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association is headquartered in Philadelphia and is a local affiliate of the National Dairy Council. It is one of 18 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association.