A look behind the scenes of garbage and recycling at the George Town landfill revealed some interesting facts for students from Sir John A. Cumber Primary School.
“Students didn’t expect to see what they saw,” said Stacey-Ann Anderson, public relations and education officer at the Department of Environmental Health.
Ms. Anderson facilitated the tour, along with Angelo Roye, the landfill’s recycling foreman.
“Students were excited about the way the garbage was stored and that so many things on the island could be recycled, such as batteries, plastic, aluminum cans, bottles and tires,” she said.
Students also toured the recycling facility, and saw the garbage going up a conveyor belt and coming out in a big block after being compacted by the baling machine. They got to see the sections of the landfill that houses oils, such as cooking or used motor oils. For recycling, they were introduced to the process that takes place before the items are sent off for processing.
Exploring the topic “The Environment and Our Future,” Year 6 students agreed that touring the dump was a fascinating and educational experience on what happens to the refuse taken from their homes.
“Don’t throw away bottles and cans; recycle them,” said Nathan Arlett-Johnson. Classmate Aquinle Missick confessed she learned more than expected. Seaford Russell, another sixth-grader, said it made sense to compact the garbage, otherwise it would be all over the place.
“They smash bottles into cubes and ship them off to the USA. That’s amazing,” said Darion Anglin.
Year 6 teacher Shekina Bush noted that the awareness of recycling and environmental conservation is especially important, as the students live on a beautiful set of islands.
“Because of the field trip, our children, our scholars, are seeing a much bigger picture. I’m hoping they will now push for changes around them. The trip was very informational,” she said.
She said the guides nurtured the students’ interest and allowed them to be true inquirers.
“I think this trip should be experienced by every child in our school system, as it opens their eyes to the wonderful programs that the Department of Environmental Health is trying to develop,” Ms. Bush added.
She said the aim of the students’ visit was to inquire into the role of the Department of Environmental Health in the protection of the environment.
Resulting from this informational tour, some students have decided to focus their research on taking action to increase recycling awareness among households for maximum participation. They have plans of making flyers, brochures and other means of public education to build that interest, Ms. Bush said.