Lynwood SHS students’ recycling efforts enough to purchase energy-saving LED lights

Lynwood SHS students recycled more than 35,000 coffee pods.
Lynwood SHS students recycled more than 35,000 coffee pods.

BY recycling more than 35,000 coffee capsule units in a national recycling program, Lynwood Senior High School has raised enough money to purchase energy-saving LEDs for their school and to help purchase solar panels for an East Timorese family.

Lynwood SHS participates in various free national recycling programs operated by recycling company TerraCycle, which allow Australians to divert hard-to-recycle waste from landfill and incineration free-of-charge.

The school recycled the most hard-to-recycle waste in 2017, collecting the community’s used coffee pods, as well as the community’s empty skin care, hair care and cosmetic products in the Beauty Products Recycling Program.

Once collected, the school sends the waste – at no cost – to TerraCycle, who clean, shred and melt down the waste into a hard plastic to build new products, such as garden beds, park benches and playgrounds.

Lynwood SHS also earns points for each unit of waste collected, which they can redeem for donation dollars for their school.

On having redeemed their donation dollars, LynwoodSH will use the money earned via the recycling programs to replace fluorescent lights with energy-saving LEDs, which the school says will halve their energy consumption.

They have also allocated some of this donation money to a campaign run by the Alternative Technology Association that helps purchase solar panels for East Timorese families.

Lynwood SHS’s Kathy Anketell said students were driven by local environmental issues.

“The students want to ensure that high-value products like aluminum are recycled to reduce the impact of bauxite mining on WA’s jarrah forests, and encourage companies to take financial responsibility for waste produced,” she said.

Year 8 environment and life sciences student Logan Edwards said he felt a responsibility to reduce waste.

“With the dumping of waste in landfill and oceans, I feel it is not only my responsibility, but everyone’s to make sure we recycle products to make sure we’re not polluting the earth and destroying our food sources,” he said.

“We’re really driven by Australian schools’ commitment to recycling in our programs, and by their hard work in raising awareness about waste and sustainability,” TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand general manager Jean Bailliard said.

“We’d like to thank Lynwood Senior High School for their recycling efforts. It’s inspiring to see their donations put towards other environmental projects.”

TerraCycle’s goal is to create materials that can be used as a sustainable alternative to virgin materials and plastics, which require more crude oil in their production.