Inspired by environmental nonprofit Green Living & Energy Education’s monthly newsletter and the increased attention to reducing, reusing, recycling and composting throughout the Keys, a group of Marathon High School students has formed a Green Club to promote eco-friendly practices at their school.
Once each week, 10 students and their club sponsor, Marathon Middle/High School media specialist Melody Dodamead, get together to talk about environmental issues and plan strategies to get their classmates, faculty and staff involved in recycling.
“We’re really trying to educate everyone at school first, and hopefully that will spread throughout the community,” Dodamead said. “Right now we recycle white paper and newspaper, and my big emphasis is on teaching the kids to take out the paper clips and staples, and teaching them why it’s important to make sure the recyclables are clean and sorted.”
The Green Club members maintain the recycling bins placed throughout the school and prepare the contents for pickup. That’s where Greg Konrath, owner of Marathon Garbage Services, comes in. Dodamead said Konrath’s company picks up the school’s paper recyclables free of charge.
“Greg has been very generous and a great partner in our recycling effort at school,” Dodamead said.
The MHS Green Club is also preparing to partner with Dan Dell of Dan’s Cans, an aluminum recycling business. Dell, of Big Torch Key, provides customers with specially marked containers for aluminum cans and then collects the contents on a regular basis, free of charge. He then sells the aluminum for recycling. Proceeds from Dan’s Cans help Dell, a young man with a disability, grow his business and support himself.