Our first experience with SCARCE was when my oldest daughter's Girl Scout Troop attended a recycling workshop. That was the spark that led to a tremendous environmental impact.
The girls returned to SCARCE in preparation for a scientific project they were conducting to figure out how to increase recycling rates in Addison. This project drew national acclaim when they won two national science competitions, the Governor's Green Youth Award, and met President Obama who awarded them the Presidential Environmental Youth Award. But better than all of the awards was the impact the project had on the community.
The study results were used to get a grant to provide all Addison residents with recycling bins. They also found out that education and communication were critical in driving usage. They created public service announcements for the local television station, submitted newspaper articles, taught a class at the local library, and promoted the new bins at a community event. In one year, the recycling rates increased by 89%!! The village also started hosting Recycling Extravaganzas, which the girls helped to promote and volunteered at.
Their school was inspired by the activity and taught recycling classes to all students. Several classes have conducted extensive environmental classes including Zero Waste Lunch, Paper Conservation, and supporting a library in the rainforests of Ghana. The book rescue program was used to fulfill the needs of the Ghana project. Another Girl Scout Troop from the school took on the challenge to educate the public (Addison & Illinois) about the new electronic recycling ban that recently went into effect.
Their first stop was at SCARCE to gain a better understanding of the issue.
Our school, students, families, and neighbors have all been changed by the spark that started at SCARCE!
In the first year alone, there was an additional 768 tons of recycling in the Village of Addison. That is 768 tons of trash that did not go into landfills. And that will continue year after year!
Dawn O'Brian - DuPage County