Joe Beer sent along this WRAP report for Oct/Nov 2015
You might not see many kids out volunteering at the recycling center, but they are there, little
swarms of them. Every year a new cohort of Santa’s helpers, so to speak, sets about collecting and
sorting a sizable stream of recyclables that would otherwise be headed for landfills, with a stop at
your pocketbook along the way.
Santa’s invisible helpers are hiding out in the hallways of your local schools. They haven’t
always been there, but in 2010, with a little help from Mike Lewis of the school district and the staff at
the Walpole Recycling Center, the district begin a full-fledged recycling program in all four attendance
Each attendance area is some what different, but for the most part, 5th graders, except at the
high school of course, collect and sort the usuals of glass, paper and plastics. These are stored in
boxed trailers and are delivered to the Walpole Recycling Center on about a weekly basis. Of course,
this results in an additional savings for Walpole, as about 15 – 20 tons of recyclable materials are
added to Walpole’s annual output.
The recycling program produced an immediate savings for the school district of over $20,000 in
money it was spending to get rid of its trash. Nothing wrong with that. One of those win-win situations, though you could add on two more wins there: one for the environment which has 20 fewer tons of refuse to absorb and one for the young kids who learn something about preserving their planet.
There are a few offsetting costs to the program, but those are very minor. The district had to pay
for four boxed trailers, some recycling bins, and the time it takes for the weekly round up of the
trailers. In the main, the district now saves quite a bit of money every year by recycling so much of its
In the few short years since it began, the district recycling program has earned at least three
separate awards. Mike Lewis, Dori Ferreira in Alstead, and Sean Bordeur-Stevens in Charlestown
have all been recognized for their efforts by the NRRA, the principal recycling agency in the
So, even though we can’t really see them, thank you to all the little helpers of the Fall Mountain