It’s a high school tradition… a pep rally, or spirit rally, right before each football game. Everyone gets all riled up and then each team is more motivated to play even harder to make their school proud, feeding off that school spirit! Now, what if we had this same type of collective spirit for a rubbish removal contest? Can you imagine a pep rally at a high school to divert rubbish removal from our landfills? We can!
Schools love to compete with each other on everything, so why not have them compete on a rubbish removal contest? Which school can litter pick more rubbish removal from parks and other public spaces in their communities? Who can remove the most rubbish from the beaches in their communities? The winner of these friendly but competitive contests could be proclaimed by who collects the most rubbish removal by weight or by volume.
Consider this idea for a little twist in rubbish removal. Which school can collect more food waste from local restaurants and then turn it into compost by the following year. The winner could be the school who produces the most food waste compost. There could also be a formula to give bonus points for how many restaurants get involved in the project and perhaps how many students are involved too.
Instead of a science fair, perhaps a rubbish removal fair could be established and open to the public for educational purposes. Our youth are about to inherit this rubbish removal crisis from their parents and grandparents. It seems it would benefit them to get involved in how to solve the problem before they start having kids and grandkids!
Rubbish removal of fly tipped areas may be another idea to pursue. Keep in mind if the fly tipped areas are anywhere near a road with traffic, however, safety precautions would need to be taken. Parents may also be required to sign permission slips and additional insurance may need to be bought. If you are interested in this idea, you can check with your local council to determine if and where this would be necessary.
For these types of contests to work, the students themselves would need to get behind the idea, not just the principals and teachers. However, principals, teachers, and dare we say it, even parents, could plant the seed of the idea into the students’ heads and then see what grows out of this seed. Given their expertise in social media and crowdsourcing, high school kids of today tend to be much more adept at organizing gallant large scale projects than high school kids used to be.
Many high schools have environmental clubs or “Earth clubs.” These clubs might be the perfect group of students to lead these types of projects, passing the baton each year to the next cohort coming up. Many high schools now offer courses in environmental science as well and these waste removal competitions could be a class project. Helping to organize such an event would also look great on a college application resume.
Another way to organize these rubbish removal contests between high schools would be to set them up as a “drive.” There could be plastic bottle drives, tin can drives, old clothes drives, old toy drives, old furniture drives, old appliances drives, etc. The high school students could be involved not only in collection but also in learning how to prepare these items for reuse, or even upcycling them for a higher purpose than their original purpose. Schools could compete in how much money they generated from the rubbish removal they collected.
Plastic bottles collected during plastic bottle drives could be turned into a plastic bottle house, or perhaps a small plastic bottle clubhouse for elementary school playgrounds or to put in local parks. Students could also learn how to clean and mend old clothes or repair old appliances and furniture for resale purposes. Repurposed items could be used to build the sets for school plays or used to build something useful at a local shelter for homeless people. The local media would love covering these rubbish removal contests because they would be led by the youth in the communities.
Any profits generated from such rubbish removal contests could be earmarked for a specific purpose at the school, such as a rooftop solar panel project, with a small percentage set aside perhaps for a fun reward trip to the winning school. Alternately, the money raised could be donated to a charity the students select.
We are intentionally not offering any specific rules for these rubbish removal school contests. We feel each school, or each student group, should come up with their own specific rules for these contests. We simply put this idea into the universe in hopes that some schools or students grab hold of the idea and run with it in various iterations. Contests make rubbish removal fun and motivate far reaching participation.
If you see a school or school group participating in any type of rubbish removal contest, please send information about the contest to the Clearabee Facebook page or Clearabee Twitter Page. Clearabee is a leading rubbish removal company based in the UK. They recycle or reuse about ninety percent of all the rubbish they collect and are ardent supporters of many sustainable projects.