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Helping environment, one milk carton at a time

Daisies encourage schools to start recycling program

Nov. 27, 2012

Section Elementary School Daisy Scouts are onto a simple idea with a big impact. After attending a recycling program through the Waukesha YMCA in March where Daisy Troop 9136 learned which items can be recycled, they were surprised to discover a recycling gem right in the school cafeteria: milk cartons.

The troop estimated that about 470 cartons of milk a day are consumed at Section Elementary School, which equates to 2,350 cartons a week or nearly 80,000 milk cartons in a school year.

"It seemed odd that no one ever tried to recycle the cartons given the amount of milk they go through," said troop co-leader Michelle Pastorek.

After checking with Principal Bob Slane and confirming with John's Disposal Service that the cartons could be recycled, the troop began a milk carton recycling program this year. The troop donated and decorated a large bin for the cafeteria where students can deposit empty milk cartons.

Students were already accustomed to emptying milk cartons before depositing the cartons in garbage containers to avoid leaking garbage bags. They quickly adapted to disposing the empty cartons in the new recycling container. Once separated from lunchroom garbage, the milk cartons are included with the school's recyclable materials.

"This is something easy we can do, and it makes a big impact on the environment," said Pastorek. "Instead of going to a landfill somewhere, those cartons will now be recycled."

Pastorek wants to get the word out to other schools in the district and encourage them to implement a milk-carton recycling program. Given the number of milk cartons coming from Section School, the environmental effect would be even greater if each building in the Mukwonago Area School District recycled cartons, explained Pastorek.

"Our girls are proud of the difference they are making." Pastorek added.

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Rotary Pancake Day: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 28, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Fundraiser for the Waukesha Rotary Club is 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expo Center Arena. Advance tickets at Waukesha State Bank, downtown location., $5-$7. $5 advance, $7 at the door; free for children 5 and younger. www.waukesharotary.org.

Ninth Annual Oconomowoc Rotary Wine & Brew Fest: 5 p.m. Feb. 28, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale Mile Rd, Oconomowoc. Wine, food and beer. Features foods from the best of our local restaurants. Purchase tickets at $50 from an O-Town Rotarian, through Facebook, or in person at most area First Bank Financial Centre locations, Books & Company & Lorleberg True Value Hardware. See more at www.oconomowocrotary.org. $50.

Chili Tasting: 11 a.m. Feb. 28, The Garden Mart, W297 S9115 Highway 83, Mukwonago. Chili tasting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local vendors will be selling unique merchandise. Judging is open to the public and all proceeds from voting will be donated to the Mukwonago Food Pantry. Event is free. Call (262) 363-5252 for information.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash Literacy Event: 10 a.m. Feb. 28, Hartland North Elementary, 232 Church Street, Hartland. Families with children in 4-year old kindergarten through second grade are invited to a special event. The Cat in the Hat and the Lorax will celebrate with a big birthday cake for all of our guests along with lots of literacy activities based around Dr. Seuss books.

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