If you’ve ever had a twinge of conscience as you throw your cans into the garbage (knowing it’s just adding to the landfill) then you might be interested in knowing the details of an eco-friendly initiative the students of Inuksuk High School have been successfully implementing!
As local residents of Iqaluit, you and I have a great opportunity to jump in and make a difference as well!
We were please to have the chance to chat with April Tucker, a founding member of the IHS Recycling Club, and get the details about the high school’s recycling program…
History of the Club
The Inuksuk Recycling group was established by a group of students in a grade 10 Environmental Stewardship class. It started with just 5 members but has now grown to a group of 16 students! The objective was to set up a recycling system at the school and then to find a way to get the community involved.
The main inspiration for choosing pop/juice can recycling was the school’s cafeteria system; the school sells an “enormous amount” of cans of juice, and all of these cans were being put in the garbage (and then moved on to the landfill). That one-semester project started them on the path to doing what they do today!
The cafeteria sells juice to students every single day at recess and lunchtime, though they haven’t done any official estimations or calculations, if even half of all of IHS’s students bought at least one can a day, that would be 200 cans in a day and its quite possible the number could be higher! Thats just for the one school alone!
The club members spend their recess time collecting cans from around the school and the collection boxes, then on another recess they take the time to sort through everything thats been collected.
Arctic Co-operatives graciously supported their efforts and provided the school with the large sea can that they use to store the cans in. When the sea can is full (approximately 40,000 cans) Arctic Co-operatives will ship it down south and give the club $1,500.
The money collected will go towards the Recycling Club and further environmental initiatives.
How Can The Community Help?
The community can offer its support simply by dropping off their aluminum pop and juice cans to the bin (located beside the sea can) and therefore contributing to greening the community and assisting with the recycling initiative. Unfortunately, at this time they can only accept aluminum cans, so they have kindly requested for community members not to add any glass or plastic bottles to their bags of cans.
The club would love for local businesses to join in the project and donate their cans as well! Just think of all the cans that could be saved from accumulating in the landfill and could be put to use with new “life” once recycled if everyone were to join in!
Since the program is operated by students it currently operates within the school year; September to June.
It can be hard to get into (or back into) the habit of recycling when it hasn’t been something we have done in a while. It is well worth the effort, though, when we know we are contributing to reducing waste, reusing valuable resources, and in this case, funding further environmental projects of the next generation. So do whatever it takes to remind yourself about setting those cans aside…. make a sign and post it by your garbage can, set aside a designated area for cans, or even purchase a special recycling bin to remind you (Like these from amazon.ca). You can be sure that your efforts, no matter how small, are helping the students, the school, the community, and our beautiful planet!
Many thanks to April and the rest of the IHS Recycling Club and to Arctic Co-Operatives for creating the opportunity for us to have a part in this green initiative!