Lancaster Elementary School third-graders Forest attended the 10th annual School Recycling Conference in Manchester, N.H. May 21.
While at the conference, they attended workshops that discussed several problems the planet faces due to pollution and mismanaged waste. They learned that approximately one dump truck of plastic is being dumped into the ocean every minute, which was very alarming to them. They also learned that plastic, even when disposed of properly, is never biodegrades, but breaks down into tiny microplastics. A surprising fact they learned was that their clothes are made from plastics.
The duo had an opportunity to sift through sand taken from New Hampshire beaches to sort out debris and microplastics. They were surprised to find candy wrappers, foam pieces, and lots of tiny plastic pieces that washed up from the ocean.
Abigail and Olivia also had the opportunity to participate in an activity called “Trash on the Lawn.” The girls separated a days’ worth of trash by placing items in proper recycling bins. This activity contributed towards 19 pounds of waste being sorted, leaving only 5 pounds of actual trash going to the landfill.
The girls are working towards eliminating the use of styrofoam trays at the Lancaster School. The conference provided them with ideas and motivation to reach their goal.
The girls were able to attend the conference, thanks to Dennis Patnoe and the Lancaster Transfer Station.