“It all happened because we said, ‘Why are you not recycling?’” explains John Pope, Executive Director of Keep Van Buren Beautiful.
Just five years ago, there was no recycling program to speak of within the Van Buren School District in Van Buren, Arkansas. Then one pointed question from Pope to the District’s Assistant Superintendent started the ball rolling on a program that has now collected over 1,000 tons of recyclables. Pope gave a presentation to the District’s Superintendent and interested faculty, emphasizing that by having recycling in the schools, the students would teach their parents how to recycle at home. He then forged a partnership with GreenSource Recycling, who provided recycling dumpsters which are accessible for community members to drop off their recyclables as well. In the 2014 Recycle-Bowl, King Elementary in Van Buren was the highest ranked Arkansas school in the Community Division. Pope continues to do outreach to schools and businesses in the area to further bolster the now thriving recycling program within the Van Buren School District.