April 22, 2013

Gorham school wins sustainability contest

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

GORHAM — Gorham Middle School was awarded $2,000 for coming in first in a competition to create a plan to reduce waste in schools.

click image to enlarge

This is an image from a YouTube video in which Gorham Middle School students explain their plan to reduce the amount of waste the school throws away.

YouTube video

The winners of the second annual Zero Waste Challenge were announced at an Earth Day assembly Monday at Gorham Middle School, according to a news release from the contest's sponsors.

Gorham students found that the school is throwing away more than 60 percent of recyclable materials. Their plan to reduce waste includes putting up posters about what's wasted and starting a "junk swap," in which students can trade their possessions instead of throwing them away.

Among the 700 people who attended the assembly were students from Westbrook Middle School, which received $1,000 for second place, and Molly Ockett School in Fryeburg, which received $500 for third place, the news release said.

Massabesic Middle School, last year's third-place winner, also received $500 for its continued commitment to reducing waste.

The competition, which is sponsored by Poland Spring and The Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, asks middle school students to come up with plans for how their schools can save money by reducing the amount of waste they produce.

The entries were judged by a panel that included sustainability experts from the Ferry Beach Ecology School, Bowdoin College, Pine Tree Waste and ecomaine.

The prize money must be used either to implement the plans to reduce waste or to attend an environmental education program at Chewonki.

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