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SES recycling program pays off with new playground equipment

by Joyce Hollister

Recycling has paid off in more ways than one at Scarselli Elementary School.

Thanks to a grant from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and Environmental Play Systems, the school playground features a brand-new play area with equipment made of recycled materials.

The $15,000 grant was given to SES, said Kris Freitas of the Parent-Teacher Organization, because of the school’s recycling program begun last year.

In order to qualify for the grant, which Freitas wrote, it was stipulated that an internal and external recycling program had to be set up. The school was required to make the three “Rs” – reduce, reuse and recycle – a priority.

The public had to become a part of the program. As a result, recycling bins were made available to the community and are now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents may recycle plastic 1 and 2 and aluminum.

The SES student council oversees the recycling program at lunch, with members of the council monitoring the students as they recycle their aluminum and plastic.

“As a school district, we have always had an emphasis on recycling paper internally and building student and community awareness through this program,” said vice principal Cissy Tucker.

According to Freitas, the recycling program and the development of the new playground area was a group effort involving school staff, teachers and administrators, parents and the school district.

The district paid for the preparation of the playground area, and overseeing the job was groundsperson Risk Ashby. Workers were district employees Bob Blumenthal and Glen Davidson. Environmental Play Systems representative John Orso also helped with the setup of the equipment.

“It couldn’t have been possible without the hard work from Rick Ashby and the administration, teachers, parents and staff at Scarselli,” Freitas said.

Cost of the equipment was nearly $22,000, and other funds were also donated. Carson City associates in management at Wal-Mart in Carson City donated $3,000, and the SES PTO matched that donation with $3,000 raised from its Innisbrook wrapping paper fund-raiser. Bing Materials of Gardnerville donated concrete.

Also a big help was Jeannie Lear of Douglas Disposal, which has been supportive of the SES recycling program since its inception, Freitas said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Sept. 8.

“The kids got to see that by their efforts at recycling in and out of school,” Freitas said, “we were able to get the money for the playground equipment, which is made from 100 percent post-consumer plastic. That’s the full circle.”

Freitas reiterated that the public is welcome to take plastic and aluminum to the recyling bins at SES, located between SES and Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School on Long Valley Road, Gardnerville Ranchos.