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Coon Rapids High School awarded grant from Anoka County to enhance recycling options

(06/28/2019) When students and staff at Coon Rapids High School - Center for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (CRHS) began exploring ways to enhance recycling options at their CRHS school, building supervisor Mike Payton knew just the place to go.

That place was the Recycling and Resource Solutions department through Anoka County Public Health and Environmental services. CRHS was recently awarded a $10,000 grant to provide the containers and supplies needed so that the opportunity to recycle is available throughout the facility.

Because of this grant, every single classroom will have new recycling receptacles with signage, encouraging and informing students and staff what types of items can be recycled.

“Given the fact that our building is currently undergoing construction of new spaces, it was important to us that we have recycling opportunities in every room in the building,” said Curt Wallrath, assistant principal at CRHS. “Having more items and resources available to our school community, and giving them the opportunity to recycle more, is very important to us.”

Through the grant, Anoka County offers free on-site technical assistance with an expert to explore ways to reduce waste and help design a program to allow the school to expand on its recycling program.

CRHS will also receive free labels for its new recycling and trash containers, which are essential to creating an effective recycling program.

According to Payton, CRHS currently fills two six-yard dumpsters that get picked up twice per week, meaning the school is already recycling nearly 10,000 pounds each week of the school year.

“What we wanted to focus on with our recycling program is volume,” Payton said. “Monitoring the recycling of over 2,000 students plus staff, we realized a need to make a bigger impact by adding more receptacles to the building.”

Payton noted that there is a lot of student interest in recycling, and making sure items are ending up in the right place.

Students will see the change when they enter the building for the start of the 2019-20 school year.