Litter Control Committee promoting recycling in elementary schools

Published 9:43 am Friday, June 6, 2014

Joanne Hickman

The Southampton Litter Control Committee has some exciting new ideas to implement in our near future to make the area cleaner, brighter and more beautiful. One of the most exciting is the new school program that we are in the process of bringing into our area elementary schools.

The purpose of “OPERATION TWO CANS” is to teach our young citizens about litter control and recycling. By getting our young people enthused and excited, we hope to begin a generation of informed and environmentally friendly world residents. Jack, our recycling mascot is a large friendly blue and gold macaw parrot who has his own sweatshirt that says, “Operation Two Cans.” He will be visiting the schools and helping us to present the program. What the program involves is a “pledge” that the children will make to pick up at least two pieces of litter each day or put at least two items in the recycling bin, daily.

The program is short and has several visual aids to help all understand some basic recycling benefits. In exchange for taking the pledge, they will receive a bright yellow armband to proudly wear showing their part in Operation Two Cans. Our program motto is “Two cans in the recycling bin are better that two cans in the garbage.” The program insignia is a garbage can with two slightly bewildered toucans peeking out amidst the cans in the garbage. It is a fun presentation with lots of enthusiastic participation from “Jack” and the children. The program has been presented to the school board and our superintendent of schools, Dr. [Alvera] Parrish and we are eagerly awaiting the dates we will be at the schools. The extremely harsh weather of this past winter has delayed us a little bit but we are eager and raring to go! We hope to be bringing the program to any civic organizations who are interested in learning a little more about recycling in a fun way. (Jack is great)

Besides Operation Two Cans, there are several programs we are looking at to get help with cleaning up our problem areas. By getting more people involved and more “creative juices” flowing, we are hoping to make Southampton’s litter problems a distant memory. Please feel free to come to the meetings with ideas and suggestions. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. in Courtland at the County Administration Offices.

Our residential recycling program has been well received and we hope to have actual statistics soon on how much of a green difference the program is making to our area. I know I was once a “lukewarm” recycler, but I now participate fully and have a real sense of “I am making a difference.” I am a big believer that waves of enthusiasm are contagious and if we all just do even a little bit it all adds up to a big difference. So please, get involved, become aware and lets’ all show the pride we have in our county.