May Community Cleanups: Celebrating Our Recycling Heroes

May was a month of incredible environmental stewardship across New Brunswick, as schools and community organizations organized a series of impactful cleanup events. Thanks to support from Encorp’s Community Cleanup Grants, these initiatives not only beautified local spaces, but also reinforced the importance of not littering and ensuring waste gets properly disposed of, especially deposit-bearing beverage containers.

The following 12 schools and community groups all held their cleanup events in May 2024:

  • Yoho Lake Association (Yoho)
  • Princess Elizabeth School (Saint John)
  • Meduxnekeag Consolidated School (Woodstock)
  • Harbour View High School (Saint John)
  • Grand Manan Community School (Grand Manan)
  • École Soleil Levant (Richibucto)
  • Anglophone East School District Science Team (Moncton)
  • École Carrefour Beausoleil (Miramichi)
  • École Antonine-Maillet (Dieppe)
  • Barnhill Memorial Middle School (Saint John)
  • Minto Community Youth Center (Minto)
  • Co-Action (New Bandon Gloucester Co)

Inspiring Educational Initiatives

Many of the cleanup events in May highlighted the power of education in fostering a sense of environmental responsibility among students. Schools across the province integrated hands-on learning with their cleanup efforts, ensuring that students not only participated in the cleanups, but also gained valuable knowledge about sustainability and environmental science.

  • Anglophone East School District combined their cleanup around Jones Lake with water testing activities, allowing students to explore scientific questions about water quality and ecosystem health.
  • École Carrefour Beausoleil organized a beach cleanup at Gordon’s Wharf and followed it with an educational visit to Hebert’s Bottle Exchange to learn about the beverage container recycling process firsthand.
  • École Antonine-Maillet not only cleaned up their schoolyard, but also planted around 30 trees, and created infographics to raise awareness about waste management.

Combining cleanup events with educational initiatives is a fantastic way to inspire students and youth to prioritize sustainability and recycle as they grow older.

Community and School Collaborations

Several events stood out for their strong sense of community and collaboration. These events brought together students, teachers, parents, and local officials to make a significant impact on their surroundings.

  • École Soleil Levant partnered with the municipality of Richibucto for their cleanup, involving grade 8 students in cleaning downtown streets and younger students in activities at school. The event concluded with a celebratory BBQ.
  • Yoho Lake Association showcased the power of resident-driven initiatives by tackling 20 km of roadway in the Yoho Lake Watershed, supported by Encorp’s Community Cleanup Grant for safety equipment and promotional materials.

These collaborative efforts highlight how community engagement can amplify the impact of environmental initiatives.

Fun and Creative Events

Each event had its unique flair, demonstrating creativity and dedication to environmental protection.

  • Grand Manan Community School involved students from grades 3-5 in both a cleanup and a beautification project, planting flowers and trees and repainting outdoor furniture for their outdoor classroom.
  • Princess Elizabeth School combined their cleanup with the launch of a new Gardening/Climate Action Club, engaging over 600 students in beautifying their school grounds and growing vegetables and fruit.

The Impact of Recycling Efforts

The cleanup events in May had a profound impact on their communities, significantly improving the environment for everyone to enjoy. Across various schools and organizations, participants removed substantial amounts of litter, including recyclables and refundable beverage containers. Each group ensured that collected beverage containers were brought to redemption centres for recycling, gaining funds for their initiatives while promoting environmental sustainability.

Let’s All Be Recycling Heroes Year-Round!

The community cleanup events in May were a resounding success, thanks to the dedication of students, teachers, community members, and the support of Encorp’s Community Cleanup Grants. By combining education, community collaboration, and a strong focus on recycling, these events have made a lasting impact on New Brunswick’s outdoor spaces. Let’s continue to support and participate in these initiatives to keep our communities clean and green. Remember, every effort counts — let’s be Recycling Heroes all year round!

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