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Hudson School District supports recycling, provides paper container at Prairie Elementary

The Hudson School District's R3 Committee is helping the local environment in a number of ways, including the maintaining of a paper recycling program. The recycled container is located in the Hudson Prairie Elementary parking lot on Carmichael Road. Remember, however, paper only. Submitted photo

Most people think of the "three R's" as "reading, 'riting and 'rithmatic," but in the world of environmental sustainability they stand for "reduce, reuse, and recycle."

The Hudson School District R3 Committee has put a "new look" to the community paper recycling program the committee provides. While the program has existed for the past two years, this winter it has received a makeover.

Located in the Hudson Prairie Elementary parking lot on Carmichael Road, the program has changed from a semi-trailer with steps to a smaller storage container level with the parking lot surface. The change allows for safer access while providing a more pleasing appearance to the community.

The district's R3 Committee's mission is "to educate, motivate, and practice reducing every day, reusing everything, and recycling everywhere within the Hudson School District and community."

In fact, many people may have observed the dedicated members of the R3 team cleaning up after Hudson High School football games, where additional receptacles and increased awareness have resulted in tremendous savings in the amount of paper, plastic, and aluminum ending up in the trash rather than recycling. In addition to their work at Newton Field, the R3 team has accomplished quite a bit in the schools and community including:

--An annual e-waste event involving a partnership with Restore, Habitat for Humanity and student members of Hudson High School's National Honor Society Chapter.

--Student, staff and community members toured the Pierce County Recycling Center in Ellsworth, Materials Processing Center in Mendota Heights, and Waste Management's Timberline Landfill and Energy Conversion Plant near Weyerhauser; students compiled recorded images to share with others and raise awareness in the district after each visit.

--Staff education related to composting and recycling and worm composting in six of eight schools district-wide.

--Common custodial messages and a partnership with Waste Management to support recycling procedures district-wide.

--Milk carton recycling across the district

--Student participation in the annual County Earth Day event

--Communication with the Raider Council to assure visible and published communication in athletic programs and for event planners and users of school facilities and grounds regarding recycling.

--Recognition at the state level by the Association of Recyclers of Wisconsin.

--Writing and receiving grants to support plastic bottle recycling at athletic events and worm composting in local elementary schools.

--Raising awareness of the variety of materials and opportunities to recycle (yogurt seals, plastic caps, ink cartridges, cell phones, electronics, paper, food waste, etc.).

--Education kits for students to learn more about sorting waste and the cost of packaging.

Within the school district, the committee continues to offer paper reduction challenges, professional development classes, Earth week awareness activities and weekly "green" tips.

Future committee goals are to increase opportunities for ink cartridge and cell phone recycling, continue to support the reduction of paper use, and harness social media to create stronger partnerships within the Hudson community.

The committee encourages all citizens to utilize the paper recycling program, just remember -- paper only, stack and pack paper as tightly as possible and push all paper as far forward in the container as possible.