Submitted by the Bedford Department of Public Works
In the interests of encouraging recycling, the Department of Public Works and Allied Waste have created a $500 scholarship this year called the “Environmental Awareness Award.” The first recipient of this award is Charlotte Gale, a senior at Bedford High School.
Charlotte, assisted by fellow student Miranda Keane, developed a National Honor Society service project that involved collecting bottles throughout the high school. The goal was to donate the money from the refundables to the Ronald MacDonald House, and to recycle the non-refundable bottles.
There were some frustrations and educational aspects to the project. According to Charlotte, “Doing this project made us realize how little the student body knows about recycling. We found full unopened water bottles and half eaten pizza in the bins.” Charlotte brought this issue to BHS Environmental Science teacher and department head Mike Griffin, who is known for his efforts to increase recycling in the school. He took the initiative to label the bins with what is and isn’t allowed in the recycling, which helped the students out immensely. The recycling labels were provided by Gretchen Carey, Bedford Public Works Recycling Coordinator.
The recipient of the funds collected through bottle redemption—the Ronald MacDonald House— provides a place for families with hospitalized children to stay nearby while their children are being treated, sparing them the added expense of having to pay for the cost of housing . The students collected 2000 refundable cans and bottles, enabling the Ronald MacDonald House to house one family for a night, or to cover the cost of feeding three families for a day during their stay.
The Environmental Awareness Scholarship was announced at the Senior Awards Night at the Bedford High School. Congratulations to our first award recipient, Charlotte Gale.