Protecting School Environment through Reusing and Recycling Solid Wastes
Terra Sancta College for boys
Private school-Directorate of Education-Bethlehem
Initiators: Terra Sancta staff members
The world witnesses the growth of truly environmental pollution, global warming, slowness in the decomposition process and the problems of human waste accumulation. Therefore, we, the school staff, have launched this initiative to emphasize the necessity for keeping our environment clean and safe through reusing and recycling solid wastes at the school. The school takes on the responsibility of raising the awareness of all the school staff members, the students and their parents about the environmental risks and their role in protecting the environment.
“Clean environment makes the difference” became the school’s banner. We worked on creating a healthy and a clean school environment. Students were encouraged and supported to be effective partners in protecting their environment both at the school and at their village. Moreover, students became creative and innovators in reusing, classifying and recycling waste. For example, they classified waste that includes food loss, plastic, metal and paper. Some of them were recycled and the others were rebuilt and reused as creative products.
The impact of the initiative
In fact, this initiative played a great role on creating positive attitudes on teachers, students and even their parents towards the importance of recycling. On the one hand, teachers, students and parents were first given lessons, lectures, brochures and workshops on the environmental pollution and the need to recycle the solid wastes at the school. On the other hand, the school benefited from the recycled paper in making graduation party invitations for Tawjihi graduators in addition to cards and letters. Moreover, the school organized an exhibition for recycled solid wastes at the school.
To carry out our project successfully, students were divided into groups inside their classes where each group member was responsible for cleaning, classifying, manufacturing and recycling. At the end of each week, the winners were awarded and supported. For example, the students had a great role in remanufacturing old clothes, making school bags, wallets and even in writing and composing a song titled “The nature song”. They also contributed in recycling wastes using special equipments brought for this purpose. Most importantly, there was a special machine to make fertilizers from food wastes or leftovers to use it for the school garden. Teachers and administrators had also a great role in following up their students, encouraging and helping them in recycling. Moreover, they also applied this initiative in their language and science lessons.
Challenges and difficulties
Working on changing behaviors or thoughts of students towards serving the public interest is a long term goal that took a lot of effort from the school administration and its teachers to achieve. Therefore, we faced difficulties in encouraging students to classify the school waste and to bring recyclable wastes on a voluntary basis and constantly. However, the school administrators, teachers and parents’ work as a team passed these challenges and difficulties.
There was no doubt that this initiative made a positive change on all individuals inside and outside their school and also on the local community. Examples of outcomes were things like the remanufactured and recycled paper, invitation cards, the school fair of recycled solid wastes and the song that was composed especially for this purpose. All this was done hoping that this initiative affects all Palestinian schools