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In the past, no real recycling program existed at Barranca Mesa Elementary School. This all changed, however, when the students took control of the recycling operations. The Spirit Club, which currently includes fourth-graders, has not only taken control of recycling at the school but made it a success. Twenty-five gallons of materials were recycled a week last year at the elementary school; this year, the load increased to more than 200 gallons a week. This year, the Spirit Group includes fourth-graders Alex Csanadi, Coleman Kendrisk, Joey Ladino, Becky Cai, Devon McCleskey and Max Herrmann.Csanadi explained runners-up for student council make up the club. “That’s how we all got in,” he said. Students do receive some guidance from teachers. Fourth-grade teacher and co-sponsor of Spirit Club Gwen Warniment explained she and fellow club sponsor Anne Gann-Everett both came from schools that did have recycling programs. And Barranca Mesa Elementary seemed eager to have recycling. “The kids were really ready for something like that,” she said. Kendrisk added that the club distributed cardboard boxes to teachers to collect recyclable materials. They did more than just hand out boxes. Cai said they successfully encouraged the cafeteria staff to serve hot lunches on recyclable trays rather than on Styrofoam ones.
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