When Live Oak Middle School in Watson could no longer continue its recycling program in 2013, student Elizabeth Hilton enlisted the help of family and friends to continue the program.
Elizabeth, now 13 and an eighth-grader, and her father determined they could supply the school with some large garbage bins, and twice a week, pick up those bins and deliver the contents to a paper recycling company in Baton Rouge, a news release said.
“I knew that our school throws away a lot of paper, and it would be senseless to not recycle it when so much is right here in one place, so I asked Principal (Ryan) Hodges could I help,” Hilton said.
Hodges agreed to help pay for the classroom bins.
Elizabeth then recruited friends Emily Rushing, Rachel Fontenot and Matthew Parrish to help her go to each classroom throughout the week to collect the paper and bin it for pickup.
The student-led recycling program is credited with saving at least 90 trees over the past year and a half, the release said.
Last school year, the students collected more than 7,700 pounds of paper. This year, before the Thanksgiving holidays, the school had recycled another 2,850 pounds.
“It’s amazing to see how much our collections add up to each week. It’s a rewarding feeling knowing that we are making a positive difference. We can literally see that difference each week,” Elizabeth said.