Over the summer, you may have noticed new labels on your recycling bins. With a lot of hard work from our local Boy Scouts, this project helped people learn more about what goes in their bins and provided information for people to learn more, ask questions, and make good choices about what to recycle.
Two members of Easton’s Boy Scout Troop 66, Alex Weiss and Christian Jhilal, worked over the summer to place the labels on every recycling bin in Easton. It all started because Easton’s Energy & Environmental Task Force won a grant from the State Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) to apply the labels with the goal to improve recycling education and reduce contamination in the recycling stream. To complete the project, the Task Force needed dedicated people who were willing to volunteer their time to benefit the community. Alex and Christian are two scouts who applied to get the idea approved for their “Eagle Project.”
Eagle Scout is the highest rank in scouting and takes years to achieve. The Eagle Project must demonstrate service to others and have lasting benefit.
Completing the project was no easy task.
“I worked to organize, recruit and split up available scouts in my troop as well as my friends, manage supplies, and eventually go out with my teams, spending hours every day, sometimes up to 12 hours in a day marking, cutting labels, cleaning the tops of recycling cans and placing stickers on them,” said Alex.
Christian followed a similar structure, covering the northern sections of Easton while Alex covered the southern sections. Alongside the boys, their parents also contributed to helping out with the project. Nina Weiss, Alex’s mother, attended meetings online, on the phone, and in person with the Easton Troop leadership, Dr. Vincent Mase, and Nick Jhilal. She also communicated with members of the Easton Energy Task Force leadership. Driving every run of the project with Alex and friends, other volunteers, or fellow Easton Scouts in the car, they were able to place recycling stickers on over 1000 recycling bins throughout Easton. She also communicated with Cathy Santangeli, Christian’s mother, and by working together they both managed to organize their projects efficiently to get the most out of every trip.
We hear every day about the major projects undertaken nationally to tackle the world’s environmental crises, and it can seem overwhelming. But with small steps, the environment is something that people can help improve every day. “The stickers guide people on what to recycle and what not to recycle, ” said Alex.
The more items that can be recycled, the fewer that go into a landfill or need to be incinerated.
The two scouts were able to spread this positive message throughout the town. When they met residents, they introduced themselves, explained their projects, and were able to show people the importance of what they were doing and how these labels would help them. Christian noted that “Through our repetitive passes on these roads, in search of bins without labels, I was able to stop and speak with many residents. It was nice to hear how many people were reading the labels and changing how they recycle.”
Seeing how Easton residents learned so much about recycling from this initiative and applied it immediately to their routine was encouraging and the highlight of this project.” One of these neighbors, Gladys Ganchou, commented on their project, saying “I love the new sticker! Not only is it a helpful reminder for myself but it’s a great way to teach our kids about recycling, the environment, and the impact we all have on our planet. It’s a great conversation starter,” she said.
The hard work of these two scouts, and their families and friends, helped make this project a success. The more we learn about recycling, the more we are improving the quality of our environment and our community as a whole. For more information on recycling, including what belongs and does not belong in the bin, visit RecycleCT.com or download the RecycleCT app. And if you find that your recycling bin does not have one of these new labels, you can reach out to the Easton Energy & Environmental Task Force (email@example.com) and they will provide you with one!