According to the EPA, Americans throw away 1.6 billion disposable pens every year. In an effort to bring awareness to this issue of difficult-to-recycle items, specifically plastic writing instruments, a Troop 91 scout chose to create an education and recycling plan in conjunction with Asheville Catholic School.
The scout and Asheville Catholic’s student council sponsored a school-wide recycling collection contest. More than 125 pounds of writing instruments were collected in 3 months. Using the school’s program as an example, Scouts from Troop 91 expanded the recycling program to more than 70 community organizations including schools, universities, libraries, businesses, religious institutions, and other Scout troops.
The collected materials are recycled by mail through the “Brigade” program at TerraCycle, a company that collects previously non-recyclable or difficult-to-recycle waste. They offer free shipping as well as a donation for each item recycled.
In addition to the TerraCycle recycle-by-mail programs, in our community Asheville GreenWorks “Hard 2 Recycle” events collect many other types of items that are difficult to recycle.
For this project, the troop was awarded The William T. Hornaday Unit Award. Scout William David was awarded The Hornaday Badge Award.