NOTE: This facility will be opening officially to the public on April 22, 2014.
This film is the culmination of 2.5 years worth of work by my 5th and 6th grade students.
Three years ago, my students were working on an action civics project using Project Citizen, a curriculum which teaches kids how to responsibly monitor and influence public policies. My students at this time wanted to tackle the issue of batteries being disposed of improperly. Did you know less than 1% of all batteries purchased by consumers are disposed of properly?
This alarming statistic and the environmental impacts caused by this spurred my students to action. They came up with the idea of asking our city's Integrated Waste Department to make all 39 elementary, 9 middle, and 9 high schools collection points for batteries. My students had seen the collection tubes in stores. They thought it would be an easy fix, right?
Not only does it take time and resources to establish this many collection sites, it also poses a potential risk. Batteries can combust.
Instead, our city's integrated waste manager suggested my students make an instructional video teaching the more than 150,000 residents of Elk Grove how to properly dispose of their batteries and all there rest of their household hazardous waste at the city's then-under-construction Special Waste Collection Center.
And now three years later, the film is complete. The Special Waste Collection Center is built. And the grand opening is scheduled for April 22, 2014: Earth Day.
I couldn't be more proud of my students' who have worked on this project. And I couldn't be more proud of The City of Elk Grove's Integrated Waste Department or our City Council and Mayor for believing in the power of my students to make a difference in their community!